The opening verses of Hebrews tell us it was “through the Son” that God “created the universe” and now “sustains everything” (1:2-3); and that when all created things have perished, He will “remain forever” (1:11), because He is “always the same” (1:12). The final chapter of Hebrews repeat this staggering truth: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
The way we see and relate to Jesus will determine everything else. How do we think of Him? Pray to Him or worship Him?… And however we answer, and whatever His many other awesome attributes, He is always the same. Theologians call it His ‘immutability’ and it’s an anchor to our faith: God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) does not and cannot change. He is the same, all the time. And therefore He is completely consistent and totally trustable. If He could change, the universe would be open to chaos and we would be lost. But He does not and cannot! In fact, as the apostle James tells us: “With Him there is no variation” (James 1:17). Unlike anybody else, Jesus Christ is the same, all the time – and that great truth is of the utmost significance!…
To put it another way, and to give us a helpful image of His immutability, He is The Rock! As Jesus explained, wise people build their house on Rock (Matthew 7:24); indeed, Jesus (the wisest of all) is building His House – the Church – on Rock (Matthew 16:18). We can build our lives and our churches on Him, because He is unchanging, unshifting, immovable; “the same yesterday, today and forever”. So, let’s dig a bit deeper to discover what He was like “yesterday”, because that’s what He’s like today and will be like tomorrow. Let’s consider three ‘yesterdays’:
Firstly, if we go back to the very beginning, we see that the Son of God did not begin to exist in Bethlehem, two thousand years ago; that was when He took on flesh, but He had always been and He will always be! He is eternal! That’s why those verses in Hebrews 1 tell us that it’s through Him all of creation came into being – a truth also declared by Paul (Colossians 1:16-17) and John (John 1:3). And Jesus calls Himself “the Originator of God’s creation” (Revelation 3:14). God the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit created the heavens and the earth, and did so from things that didn’t exist (Romans 4:17, Hebrews 11:3). And He’s just the same today: He creates by His Word and He sustains all He creates, and He can do new, creative and miraculous works in our lives!
Secondly, we discover that Jesus appeared on earth at various times in the Old Testament; even before His incarnation, the Son of God made Himself known to mankind. Some of these ‘theophanies’ are more obvious than others, but consider for example: When Abraham returned from battle he met Melchizedek (Genesis 14) who is described as the “king of righteousness” and “king of peace”; one “having neither beginning of days nor end of life”, one “resembling the Son of God” (Hebrews 7:2-3)! When Jacob wrestled “a man” who blessed him, changed his name and told him he’d prevail, he knew he’d “seen God face to face” (Genesis 32:30). When Moses led God’s people through the wilderness the Rock that brought forth water “was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4). When Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego are thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol, the king sees a fourth man in the furnace with them who “looks like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). And when Isaiah “saw the Lord” enthroned in the Temple (Isaiah 6) it was none other than Jesus (John 12:41). Here and elsewhere Jesus is present to find, meet, come alongside, intervene and provide for His people… And just as He was yesterday, so He is today!
And then thirdly, when He took on flesh and walked amongst us He gave the most complete manifestation of His unchangeable nature. Having declared “before Abraham was even born, I AM” (John 8:58), He made seven powerful “I am…” statements to show us what this meant: (1) “I am the Bread of life” (John 6:35,48) – sustaining, nourishing; providing, refreshing, satisfying us. (2) “I am the Light of World” (John 8:12, 9:5) – banishing darkness, removing fear, making things plain. (3) “I am the Door of the Sheep” (John 10:7,9) – giving access to the Father; guarding, protecting, keeping us safe. (4) “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11,14) – caring, leading, feeding, healing; devoted to His flock. (5) “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25) – carrying our sin and sickness, triumphing over death, empowering us to live Spirit-filled, overcoming lives. (6) “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:16) – all our wisdom, the answer to every dilemma, the key to every breakthrough. And (7) “I am the True Vine” (John 15:1,5) – joining us to Himself and one another; and enabling us to be fruitful all the time… This is JESUS – the Great I AM, the Son of God, the Christ – who is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever!
Jesus is the same today as when He created all things, and when He appeared in the Old Testament, and when He walked on earth. He is exactly the same this year as last year, or your best year ever! He does not change. He’s the same day or night, and whatever the season, and whatever we face. He’s the same whether His church is gathered or scattered. He doesn’t change when we change; He doesn’t deviate when we go off-track. He cannot love us any more or less! He is always good, all the time. He was all-sufficient for Abraham, Moses and Daniel and his friends; and for Paul and Peter and John – and He’s all-sufficient for you and me! He never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. And therefore we can anchor our lives to Him, build our churches on Him, and find total security in Him! There’s a Rock on which we can stand. He is unchangeable, and that changes everything!….
In Part 2 we will see that this Unchangeable Person has an Unshakeable Kingdom, but before you move on why not take some time to consider what the unchangeable nature of Jesus means for you at this time?
(An extended video version of this message is available here)