“Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today, and forever.”
Come, join me for a few moments as the sun settles down to rest beyond the horizon, marking the end of another day.
Just another day, and yet not. This is the last of three hundred sixty five similar days, reminding us that God in His providence has cared for us throughout another year.
Leafless trees cast long shadows over the fields. The evening glow spreads its multi-colored rays far to the north and to the south. A quiet peace settles over the landscape beckoning us to a few moments of serious contemplation.
Those rose-colored clouds, emitting rays of light, do add, to the beauty of the evening, don’t they? What would life be without its sorrows and disappointments, and its poignant grief? God never seems nearer to us than in those hours of anxiety when we need Him most. Much of the past year is already forgotten, but the hours of need, of crying for help, of being drawn under the protection of the Everlasting Arms will never be forgotten.
Even this constant recurrence of morning and evening, of day and night, of yesterday gone by and today steadily moving toward tomorrow, reminds us that life is far more than a treadmill of repetition. We move onward day by day, from week to week, from year to year, from time into eternity.
Where have those three hundred sixty-five days gone? It was but as yesterday that we stood before this new year. Then it spread itself so far into the future before us. Then it was pictured as a babe in diapers, now already it is presented as an old man bent under the weight of his scythe. Time like an ever rolling stream . . .
Yet Jesus Christ remains the same, yesterday, and, today, and even into endless eternity.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son.
How thankful I am for that assurance that my God is my Jesus.
God tells us that in His own inspired revelation concerning Himself. He draws away the veil to show us that He is our Savior—Jesus, the Christ. He tells us of the mystery of godliness, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” I Tim. 3:16.
That is what gives the cross its infinite value as the complete atonement for all of our sins. For it was none other than God’s blood that was shed on Calvary’s brow. Acts 20:28. God was in Christ reconciling us unto Himself. God came into the flesh to redeem His people unto Himself as an everlasting possession and thus to redeem unto Himself all things in heaven, and all things on earth. In saving His people He carries out His purpose in making all things new in that unending Tomorrow.
Jesus is the unchangeable, eternal God.
Jesus is also the unchangeable Christ.
We see Jesus, “Jehovah salvation.”
We see Him as He is revealed to us on the pages of Holy Writ and sealed to ours hearts by a living faith through the testimony of His indwelling Spirit.
We see Him as He stands eternally before the Father: THE Elect of God. He is chosen eternally to be God’s great Friend-Servant, our eternal Prophet, our exalted Highpriest, our glorious King of kings, and Lord of lords.
The saints of the old dispensation knew Him as the Angel of Jehovah, ever encamping round about those that fear Him. Some saints were even privileged to see Him, to converse with Him, to carry out His mandates, and to marvel that heaven had come so very close to them Imagine Abraham’s surprise as he sat under the oak at Mamre, when he realized that his distinguished guest was the angel of Jehovah, eating, fellowshipping, talking with him as a Friend with a friend. Even then, as now, the secret of the Lord was with those who fear Him.
Even greater was the wonder when God sent His son into the world, born of a woman, born under the law. The eternal Christ took on the form of a servant, humbling Himself unto death, even the bitter and shameful death of the cross to carry out Father’s will and to fulfill the Scriptures. Never do we weary of speaking of that cross; never do we cease to marvel, never may we cease to glory in it. We had Father’s promise, the promise of complete deliverance from bondage of sin and death into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. That promise had to be made good. And it was. For Christ fulfilled every detail of the divine program of suffering that had been assigned to Him, bearing the burden of God’s wrath as the only possible atonement for our sins. When all was accomplished He could say with as much certainty as relief: “It is finished.”
Therefore God hath exalted Him to the highest position of power and authority in the heavens. He now rules over the angels and saints in heaven, over all the demons of hell, over every creature that stirs upon the earth. Imagine that! The man Jesus is risen from the dead, is brought into heaven, and is now entrusted with power to carry out the eternal counsel of God’s will. He has power over springtime and harvest, over summer and winter, over all of history, so that this same Jesus brings us this last sunset of the year. Even this little hour must also serve for the gathering of God’s church and the coming of His kingdom, even unto that day when all things will be made new.
For Christ is Lord over His church, appointed to rule over them in love. He gathers His sheep unto Himself, leads them into green pastures and beside still waters. He protects and defends them against the attack of every ravenous wolf. Like a shepherd He gently leads them, carrying the young in His bosom, ever bringing them into the sheepfold of glory.
Jesus Christ is still the Savior of His people, and thus the Savior of the world that soon will appear in all its perfection, to the glory of that one, great, sovereign God, our Savior.
I believe in Him. My Lord, and my God.
Jesus Christ the same in an ever-changing world!
He was Jesus, the Christ, yesterday.
The sun drops behind the distant hills, informing us that another day is gone, another year is all but spent.
History is in the making. Powers have risen and fallen. National and international politics have revealed their corruption. Kissinger has gone about buying peace. There have been storms, severe blizzards in the mid-west. There has also been an extreme drought of summer; corn stood withered in the fields. Nations were in turmoil. People were concerned about rising prices, about the price of oil this winter.
The usual, one might say. Yet the usual has increased its tempo at an amazing rate. Floods, tornadoes, and other destructive forces are at work more than ever. Wars, unrest among nations, are on the increase. Time rushes on almost faster than we can keep up with it. New highways prove inadequate even before they are finished. New inventions are obsolete almost before they appear on the market. The world can only wonder, where are we going?
As churches we have had a wonderful year. Our congregations experience a blessed harmony. Our denomination still enjoys a wonderful unity of faith and love. Our seminary flourishes; many young men are zealously being prepared for the ministry. We have found contact with saints of a life faith even in the far ends of the earth. God is drawing His church together from far and wide, preparing her to maintain a united front in the evil days to come.
Even as individuals we can rejoice in the fact that God has kept us in the palm of His hand, under His watchful eye. His ear was always attentive to our sighs, His mouth pouring forth words of comfort, peace, and blessedness. We could worship with His church, exercise the communion of saints, train our children in our own schools, freely worship our God in our homes. The caves of the earth have not beckoned as yet.
He was Jesus, our Savior; the Christ of God.
He is Jesus today.
Yet today is but a passing moment. I must not delay. I must recount His faithfulness of the past and see His good hand upon us still today. True, we have our problems, even today. We have our cares, our burdens of sin. But we flee to Him as our Refuge also now.
The Jesus of yesterday is the Savior of today.
And He is Jesus into endless eternity.
Yes, tomorrow, and the next day, and the next He has planned for us in harmony with His glorious purpose with all things. He will create new needs, but He will also provide for the needs that He creates. He is Jehovah, Who changes not; how could we ever be consumed, even if all the powers of hell would break loose against us.
Thou, Lord, has dealt well with thy servant! Thou hast holden me by Thy hand, afterward to lead me to glory!
Teach Thou me to trust in Thee and to walk in good judgment and knowledge. For in Thy commandments I trust.