Jesus is Always the Same
What a changeable world we live in! Everything within us, and without us is change! Our frames how variable — our friends changeable! Yet our souls need something permanent on which to rest, someone unchangeable with whom to walk. For this must turn away from all creatures, and fix the eye and the heart on Jesus alone. He is the same. Always the same. Hence apostle's testimony, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8. Holy Spirit, lead me to think of Jesus, and to write of Jesus, so as to glorify his dear name.
Jesus is unchangeable in his PERSON. He cannot change. His humanity is pure and perfect, and it is united to, and inhabited his divinity. He is truly God, and truly man — God and man in one person. He cannot be improved — for he is perfect; nor he be deteriorated — for his divine nature preserves his humanity from that. Jesus is — what he was; Jesus ever will be — what he is. Whatever change may take place in me, in my friends, or relations — no change ever take place in Jesus. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Jesus is unchangeable in his OFFICES. He is the same wise, holy, and condescending Prophet, who by his Spirit reveals the mind of the
Father to us. He is the same great and gracious High Priest, who having atoned for our sins by his blood — ever lives to make intercession for us. The blood he shed for our ransom on the cross, he ever presents to his Father, for our security; so that being reconciled by his death, we shall be saved by his life. He is the same glorious and condescending King. On the throne of his Father, he rules all worlds for our good, and is looking forward to the time when God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and all his enemies shall be put under his feet.
Jesus is unchangeable in his WORD. His promises are like the ancient mountains, and his threatenings like the inexhaustible ocean. Heaven and earth may pass away — but his word shall never pass away. We may depend on what he has spoken, for all that he has said — shall surely come to pass. Others may be unable to fulfill their word — but Jesus will make good every tittle of his. Others may violate their word — but Jesus never can. His word endures forever, and the thoughts of his heart, embodied in his words, to all generations.
Jesus is the same in all his varied PERFECTIONS. He is the same in his grace. Never was he more gracious than now, nor will he ever be less gracious to any that believe on his name. He is the same in his mercy. Never did he sympathize with people in their sufferings more than he does now, nor will he ever sympathize with the less. He is the same in his faithfulness not only to his word — but faithfully fills every relation he has assumed. He is the same in his holiness, and is the holy One Israel, who on earth appeared as holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. He is the same in his love, for having low his own — he loves them unto the end. The are no fluctuations in his love, no ebbing or flowing in this ocean. His love is everlasting, like his divine nature, it is without variableness or shadow of turning.
Jesus is unchangeable in his TEMPER and DISPOSITION. He is still the Lamb, though in the midst of the throne. He is still meek lowly of heart, and he who waited for sinners, looked out for sinners, and receives sinners, in the days of his flesh — does so still. He never did breaks the bruised reed, quenches the smoking flax, nor will he. loving-kindness is as great, as good, and tender as ever. There was nothing in him to alarm a timid bashful child, therefore children allowed him to take them up in arms and bless them, and he is as gentle loving now. Patient love, and meek mercy, appear prominently in the temper and disposition of the ever blessed Jesus.
Jesus is unchangeable in his DEMANDS upon us. He still demands . . .
our unhesitating faith in what he says,
our cheerful obedience to his commands,
our heart's entire trust in his sacrificial death, and
our constant preference of him to all besides.
He demands of us that we confess him before men, and that we be decided in his cause. Not health or wealth, friends or relatives, ease or comfort, nor life itself, must be preferred before him.
He requires the person, the whole person, and all that belongs to the person — to be brought to his altar, surrendered for his acceptance, and consecrated to his service and praise. Less than this, never satisfied our adorable Redeemer, and less than this never will — for he is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
If Jesus Christ is always the same, then he is truly and properly God, for God alone is absolutely unchangeable. But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever — therefore he is the true God and eternal life. The language of the God of Israel exactly befits him, "I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed." If Jesus is unchangeable — then the foundation of our faith and hope is firm — for on him they rest, and on him alone. As therefore Jesus is the Rock of ages, the long tried stone which God has laid in Zion for a foundation, building our faith and hope on him we can say, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
If Jesus is ever the same, then the fountain of our comfort is inexhaustible. Brooks may dry up, and if we left to depend on creatures for comfort, may be left miserable and unhappy; but the ocean is ever full, and if we live on Christ for our comfort, we shall never know what it is to lack a friend, or a source of sweet consolation.
If Jesus never changes, the the prospects of the Church are most animating. Is not the Church his body? Is not the Church his bride? Has he not give himself for his Church, and promised to glorify her with himself? What then may not the Church expect to receive from Christ?
Is Jesus immutable, then the punishment of impenitent sinners is certain. He has warned them most solemnly. He has set before them the consequences of living and dying in sin, most faithfully. He has told them the worm which never dies, and of the fire which is never quenched. He has cautioned them and offered to save them, complaining of some, that they would not come unto him, in order that they might be saved by him.
If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever — then we may go wherever he sends, and do whatever he bids us with confidence and courage. He who command the winds and the waves — and they obey him; he who raised the dead, and fills demons with fear and alarm — is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Friend, and he has said, "Lo, I am with you always." Do we wonder then that he bids his disciples not be troubled, whatever may happen, directing them as they had confidence in his Father — to have confidence in him? I wonder not. O my soul, rejoice — your Savior is always the same! Ever trust him — for he will stand by you, appear for you, and at length — glorify you with himself!