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We live in a world that is constantly changing. We witness it in nature from season to season. Following winter when everything seems to go into a long, deep, sleep and then springtime brings about a beautiful change. The trees bud out, the grass begins to grow, flowers bloom, the birds and animals seem to spring into new life. Nature takes on a fresh new change.
The environment is constantly changing all around us. The old home-stead that has passed through several generations with all of its memories now show signs of change. Repair and renovation has altered it until it is hardly recognizable. The neighborhood that we grew up in has evolved into something different than once remembered. Age has taken its toll on our friends and family that we hold so dear. Furrows have come in the cheeks that were once full, the eyes that once glistened are now dim, and the hearing is not as acute as it once was, footsteps begin to limp and lag with the passing years, the hair that was once golden has turned to gray, and the back is a bit stooped from years of toil.
However, there is a sense in which we would not want it to be otherwise. What a dull and uninviting world it would be if there was no variety in life. If the sunset and sunrise was always the same, flowers and vegetation never showed any variety, the world and its beauty fixed in a state of changelessness would be a living death.
A loving mother who gives birth to a little babe longs to witness the growth of that babe into early childhood and further into a responsible adult. What horror it would be if a babe never developed either physically, emotionally, or mentally beyond its birth and remained a 30-40 year old infant, perish the thought. This is not the kind of environment that we would want to live in. We love and long for change as God made us and the world around us.
What does the text mean when it says, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. We know by observing His creation that He is a God of beauty, harmony, and variety. There is nothing dull, dead, or despondent about anything He has done either in creation or re-creation. Rather all is continuously living, moving, developing, and growing. Therefore let us look at this statement more closely.
Jesus is Changeless in His Person:
It is difficult for us to conceive of one who is immutable since we live in time with its changing movements and measures. Time can be measured by minutes, months, and millenniums, but Jesus is the timeless one. Time adds nothing to Him and subtracts nothing from Him. He was before time ever began. He, in fact, set time in motion and all the marching ages cannot improve Him nor impair Him because He is the perfect and immutable Son of God. The writer of the Hebrew letter tells us in the first chapter, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou remainest: and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”
Jesus is Changeless in His Purpose:
We see that Jesus is eternal and immutable and there is no variation in His character. He is holy to the exclusion of all unholiness. His word tells us that, “Thou hast loved righteousness and hateth iniquity.” God desires fellowship and longs to share His glory with His creature man and therein lies the reason for the command, “be ye holy for I am holy.” John tells us in his first epistle that, He was manifested to take away our sins…and further he writes that, “for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” From the beginning, as there has been no variation in His character neither has there been any deviation in His purpose. His selection for man’s destiny is heaven and His selection for man’s character is holiness. For the holy there can be only one destination and that is heaven. For entrance into heaven there can be only one qualification and that is holiness.
In order to accomplish this changeless purpose He came into this wretched world on a mission of mercy. Following 33 years of an exemplary life of love, goodness, mercy and service He was led up Calvary’s hill where He was nailed on a cross. Peter reminds us that, “we were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold … But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot.” He tasted death that He might triumph over it. He became its victim in order to be its vanquisher. He paid in full-measure the price exacted to redeem us from sin and with His dying breath He cried, ‘it is finished.’
Jesus is Changeless in His Pledge:
The promise is given to all who will do His will that “when He shall appear we shall be like Him.” He told the disciples (as well as all who would follow Him) before He went back to the Father that He was going “to prepare a place for them…and that He would come again to receive them unto Himself, that where He was, they could be also.” In His High Priestly prayer before going to the cross in John chapter 17 He prayed, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world.”
In creation, Jesus, gave us a variety in colors, flowers, trees, and landscapes such as the mountains, seas, and plains. He gave us various breeds of animals such as horses, dogs, and cattle. He made each human being with a diverse and unique personality. The whole world is one of diversity and change.
However Jesus is the rock that is constant and steadfast. While on this rock we might shake and quake as we face the various vicissitudes of life but the rock never shakes. “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1: It is wonderful to know that we are serving one who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Let us look to Him, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Let us look to the immutable and invisible Son of God so that this sustaining vision of the values of things unseen and eternal will keep us steadfast unto the end.