This Same Jesus
We want to look at some verses, that tell us something about our Lord. In each of the verses we get the word same and this word will be our guide in our meditation. We will start with Hebrew 13. 8, 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.' Here He is presented to us as:
1. The Changeless One
The One who does not and cannot change. 'Though all things change He changes not, forgetting ne'er, though oft forgot'. We live in a world of change and do not know what tomorrow has in store for us, but we may have His unchanging presence along the changing road of life. David the psalmist once said, 'My times are in thy hand'. He did not say my 'time' is in thy hand, though this would have been true, but my 'times' are in thy hand. He was thinking about life's changes, and he had many big and even dramatic changes. Now changing circumstances have a power. Lot was a good man as long as he was with Abraham, but separated from his uncle, he went gradually downhill spiritually. King Joash was a good king, and he did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest, but when Jehoiada died he forsook the Lord. Peter denied the Lord when he was in the High Priest's palace. A young man leaving home for the army, finds new and powerful temptations, or a young person leaving a village for a city is faced with problems which are new and difficult. The prevailing wind in some parts of the country is south-west, when the wind blows from the east, we often find, that trees that stood the prevailing wind, are blown over. So changing circumstances have a power, and we need the presence of the One who never changes with us every day. Then like Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon, we will be enabled to stand in any circumstances.
2. The Co-equal One
In John 1. 1, we are told that the Word was with God and yet was God, then verse 2 says 'The same was in the beginning with God'. We accept the truth of the Trinity-three Persons in the godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all equal in power and glory. Attempts have been made to illustrate this truth. Some have suggested the three-leafed clover. Others have suggested a lake, from which a river flows, a river which blesses many. This would give us the source, the channel and the result, but the finite cannot grasp the infinite. The Lord Jesus was the Ancient of Days, the One whose goings forth were from everlasting, and He never ceased to be what He was, because of what He became. In speaking to the Jews, He did not say, 'God will judge the world', but 'All judgment is committed to the Son'. He did not say, 'Return to God for rest', but 'Come unto me and I will give you rest'. He forgave sin on His own authority. In John 10 He says, I and My Father are one'. They are One in preservation. He gives to His sheep eternal life, and no one is able to pluck them from His Father's hand. Then they are One in revelation, for He said 'He that hath seen me hath seen the Father'. The Father can only be seen in His Son. As Miss Havergal expresses it:
Holy and infinite what revelation,
Could the created and finite sustain.
But for Thy marvellous manifestation,
Godhead incarnate in weakness and pain.
They are One in adoration, for it is God's will that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. Then they are One in administration. Revelation 3. 21 says 'I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne'.
3. The Chosen One
In 1 Peter 2. 7 we read, 'the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner'. The builders were the Jewish leaders and they rejected Him. What a change of fortune, humanly speaking. He tasted the extremes of treatment, He was beaten, spat upon, forsaken and crucified as a malefactor, then raised to the highest heights of glory at God's right hand. Joseph knew some drastic changes, sold for twenty pieces of silver, falsely accused and imprisoned, then became Prime Minister in Egypt. David started life with the staff of a shepherd and finished with the sceptre of the sovereign. No one sank to such depths as he did, and no one rose to such heights of glory. He was rejected by men, yet chosen by God. Surely never was a verdict so completely reversed. Many good, clever and great men were once criticized and misunderstood, but later appreciated and honoured, Time has altered the opinions of men, for the One the Jews rejected is worshipped by countless thousands, and God has chosen Him to rule and reign.
4. The Continuing One
In Hebrews 1. 12 we read 'shalt thou fold them up', that is the heaven and the earth, 'but thou art the same and thy years shall not fail'. It is hard to believe that this world of ours will not last for ever; but scientists tell us the world is like a clock, once wound up, but is now running down. It did not always exist, it had a birth and it will have a death. We are told that the sun is losing 360,000 million tons of substance every day. We would not wish to question these figures but would keep Psalm 46 before our minds, 'God is our refuge and strength . . . therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed'. Whatever happens the eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
5. The Coming One
In Acts 1 the angels said to the disciples as they stood looking up to heaven, 'this same Jesus . . . shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go'. When Christ went back to heaven to all His high estate, the angels said 'He will come again', but did not name the date. Soon, He that shall come, will come and will not tarry.
Soon again shall we behold Him,
Hasten Lord the day. But 'twill still be this same Jesus,
As He went away.
Then calm 'midst waves of trouble be,
He's just the same Jesus, As when He hushed the raging sea,
The very same Jesus.
The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Jesus is coming! sing the glad word,
Coming for those He redeemed by His blood,
Coming to reign as the glorified Lord, Jesus is coming again.