Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Hebrews 13:7-8

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. [8] Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. He is unchangeable. What blessed consolation there is in these words. What challenge there is in these words.

If our Lord is the same today as he was yesterday, then that means that what he said 2,000 years ago about himself and his work is still true. He has overcome the world. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. He is living water. He is the bread of life. He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the door. He is the gate. He came to bring life. He came to save sinners. He came to bear witness to the truth. His words of exhortation to believe and receive all these truths about himself (and more) are just as true and binding on us today as when they were first spoken. And they will continue to be true and binding 2,000 years from now, should our Lord wait that long to return. His promises are trustworthy because he is the same yesterday and today and forever.

When I consider the saints who have gone before us and listen to their words about our Lord, I am moved by the fact that – regardless of the century in which their words were spoken or written – there is a vital and familiar thread that runs throughout the centuries. And it is not simply because those who conveyed such words were merely writing the same words strung together to describe Christ. It’s so much more intimate than that. Instead, they were describing someone they knew – someone who does not change with the tides of time and place. Span the centuries and you still find the Lord Jesus being talked about and adored and worshipped in striking continuity and intimacy.

We would do well to imitate those faithful saints who came before us. Our vision of Christ – when confined to our time and place alone can become so myopic and limited. Sadly, we’ve grown accustomed to his face. We desperately need to step outside our surroundings and see a bigger, more beautiful Jesus. We need to cross the generations to discover what others have said about our Lord and to learn how their thoughts and lives were transformed and renewed because of him.

I for one love to read the works of the saints who lived, served, and died over the last 500 years (though, admittedly, this too will prove to be limiting). But I want to hear what the giants of the faith, whose lives and ministries and teachings have stood the test of time, have to say to me today in my narrow little place in history.

I encourage you to do the same. Aside from time in God’s Word, there may very well be no better way to occupy your life of study and mediation as you go on to maturity.

Stand Firm,
Dale

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