Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
How often do you find yourself disoriented by change? Whether big or small, the details of our lives and the various flashpoints in our world are changing with unusual speed in our generation.
Not only does the world out there appear to change quickly, as we view events from afar through our screens, but even right here, in our own homes, our lives can feel like they are in greater flux. Just as fashion comes and goes, so friendships emerge and fade. We hear reports of new discoveries, and learn the names of new coworkers. Seasons of joy and peace give way to sorrows and tumult, and then times of joy return. Parents age, children grow up, and even beloved spiritual leaders depart for new pastures.
All humans are well-acquainted with change, and maybe now more than ever.
But You Remain
In one sense, life in this world has long been a series of changes, however big and small. From Adam to Abraham, from Jacob to Moses, from David to Mary, life changed in significant ways for God’s people from one era to another, and incrementally along the way. In another sense, though, we live in times of particular acceleration.
Modern life presents us with a dizzying array of revisions, turnabouts, alterations, and updates. And yet in the mild confusion of incremental adjustments, and the massive disorientation in the moments of a seeming vortex, we who claim Christ do as saints of old did and call together on the God of Psalm 102:25–27:
You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.
The psalm compares all the created world — earth and heavens, in all its seeming stability — to something as passing as our clothing. Shirts and pants and socks wear out. We roll them up and put them away, and take them out again later — until they wear out and we pass them along or throw them out.
Psalm 102 dares to compare the seemingly stable heavens and earth to such garments — because in comparison to the immutable, unchanging God, even heaven and earth will prove transitory and temporary. “They will perish, but you remain. . . . You are the same, and your years will have no end.”
Same God — And So Much More
In ever-changing lives, we need a place to establish our feet and steady our hearts. And as Christians, we take comfort in such times to know that when we call on the name of our God, we join with voices of the faithful across centuries who have done the same and found him faithful.
When we call on him now by name, same God that he is, we know so much more of him than did Jacob and Moses, and even David. Our same God has revealed himself to us, in the church age, in far more detail and brightness than even those saints of old knew. We join Mary in knowing, and calling on, the name of Jesus.
The beginning of the book of Hebrews quotes Psalm 102 in celebrating the glory of Christ. These words are not only from a psalmist to his God, but from the Father to his Son. Jesus is not only fully human, the offspring of David, the rightful king of Israel, he is also fully divine, the radiance of his Father’s glory, upholding the universe by the word of his power. And he, as the divine Son, is unchanging, sharing in the very immutability of God Almighty.
The universe will wear out, but he will not. Even suffering and death will not destroy him. He is the same. His years will have no end.
Faithful to Satisfy
And so, again, Hebrews says at the end of the letter, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Our God is indeed the same God he has always been, and yet now, in Christ, he has shown us even more, and so much more, of himself.
God was faithful then, and he is faithful now. He was Savior then, and he is Savior now. Jesus has made his Father known (John 1:18). And in Jesus, the same God has shown himself faithful to save and satisfy us, body and soul, forever.
I’m calling on the God of Jesus,
Who promised he will never leave us.
He’s always been the same, but now we know his Name.