8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I recently purchased a 2017 Ford Explorer. It has all the bells and whistles. Mirrors were moving, colored lights flashing and bells dinging until I got to the owner’s manual and started figuring things out. The manual was written when it came out in 2017, but it still tells me everything I need to know here in 2021, just as it will if the car makes it to 2037. The owner’s manual and instructions on how this SUV operates are the same yesterday, today and… well, it’s a car, so not forever.
Jesus Christ never changes, even though we do. Jesus in my childhood is the same as Jesus in my adulthood, but my needs, understanding and relationship are totally different. He didn’t change; I did. Our Christian faith has all been given to us and is complete, and all our God-breathed scripture has been written. Everything has already been revealed. Things continue to unfold for us as we grow in our understanding of the truth, but the truth does not change. There is no sequel.
With that said, Jesus instructed His disciples to pass along His teachings, and Paul is constantly warning against false prophets who distort them. “If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!” (Galatians 1:9). Since Christ is always the same, we must judge every teaching according to the gospel.
The writer of Hebrews was trying to encourage fairly new Jewish Christians who were wavering in their faith and considering a return to their old ways. This chapter is connecting the past they understood with an assurance of the future. Yesterday refers to the written words and actions by and about Jesus Christ, which show us what He is really like. Today is where we have a relationship with Him as the person we know by reading about His life and work yesterday. Jesus Christ must be the same tomorrow as He was yesterday and today, because all our hope hangs on Him. On this, we are rock solid. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!”
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Churches are facing intense pressure to adapt to changes in society, and so are we. Pick one of these topics and research for yourself both sides and the scripture being used to support their positions. If a “new” teaching requires us to believe the apostles and Bible writers were mistaken, that claim is subject to the curse mentioned by Paul (see Galatians 1:9 above).
- Scripture, the exact same words, can mean totally different things to you based on your perspective. As an example, most people associate Psalm 23 with funerals and a somber feel. Try reading it through a different lens, where you are crazy happy, overflowing with gratitude, and feel like shouting a big Hallelujah.