Summary: Sermon 27 in a study in HEBREWS

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”

There are many passages of scripture, whether they be a single sentence in a verse or a paragraph or an entire chapter, which seem to be picked very often for sermons, or to quote in conversation because they stand apart in richness and eloquence and blessing.

The verse of our text today contains one of those much quoted, much preached and much loved truths pertaining to the attributes of our Lord.

The writer to the Hebrews, from chapter one through the whole of this epistle, has placed Jesus Christ center stage, turned on the spot light, and admonished us to ‘consider Him’.

Consider Jesus; better than the prophets, better than the angels, better than Moses, better than the Old Testament economy of ordinances and feasts and sacrifices; and now, near the closing of his letter he says that this One is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.

He is our great High Priest, ministering in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle not made with hands; and He is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.

He is the Captain of our salvation and the Author and Perfecter of faith; and He is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.

People change, often. Our circumstances change. Sometimes change comes so drastically and suddenly that we, who tend to be creatures of habit and comfort, are devastated.

Pastors and other church leaders move away or pass away; sometimes they prove unfaithful and fall away.

Some family member dies suddenly and sometimes violently.

Severe weather strikes suddenly and destroys homes and communities.

The business we have been in for years fails and leaves us wondering how we will provide for ourselves and our families.

As we grow older we are often dismayed when we realize that things we used to do with ease are now a struggle for us, if we can do them at all.

But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever. He said, “I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you”, and He does not change.

So let’s look closely as this pearl of scripture today, holding it up to the Holy Spirit’s divine light, and asking Him to expose as much of its hidden beauty to us as our finite minds and hearts can stand.

First, let’s look closely at the name that claims immutability. Jesus Christ.

This is not a first and last name, as so many suppose in ignorance, His name is not Jesus Christ, in the way that my name is Clark Tanner.

Jesus is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name, Joshua. It means “salvation”. It was probably a very common name in the first century Greek world, just as Jesus is today in the Hispanic community.

Extra-biblical writings tell us that the first name of Barabbas, whose place Christ took on the cross, was ‘Jesus’. (An interesting side note here: Barabbas translated, would be ‘son’ {Bar} ‘of the father’ {abbas}. So in truth, no matter what decision Pilate had made that day, “JESUS, SON OF THE FATHER”, was going to hang on the cross. Either the insurrectionist, or Emmanuel (God with us). I’m so very glad that it was the latter that went there and not the former; aren’t you? One could only die for himself; the other died once, for all...and ‘all’ includes me)

Christ, or Christos, is also Greek, meaning the ‘anointed one’. And Jesus was anointed by God to the specific office of Redeemer.

Luke, the beloved physician, quotes Peter in Acts 10:38 as saying to Cornelius and his family and friends, “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God ANOINTED Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him.”

In Psalm 2:2, David refers several times to the Lord’s Anointed (capital ‘A’); and in Acts 4 Peter and John quote verse six of that Psalm, applying the title to Jesus, saying, “The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ (or His Anointed One).”

So we would be most accurate in referring to our Lord as ‘Jesus the Christ’. ‘Jesus’ denotes His humanity, and ‘Christ’ His deity.

‘Jesus’ says that He is our salvation, and ‘Christ’ confirms that He was anointed and sent from God the Father for that very purpose.

How much more, understanding these things about His very name, should our hearts be lifted up in rejoicing when the Holy Spirit inspires the writer to assure us; “Jesus Christ (the One anointed to bring salvation) is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”

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