I was speaking to a friend recently, and she said that she didn’t see how Jesus was relevant today. She said that she could see why people in His time and culture might’ve followed Him, because He had some nice teachings and was supposedly quite powerful, but she said that putting your complete faith in someone from thousands of years ago seems nothing short of ludicrous. I think I’d agree with her if that was the full picture. But it’s not. We don’t follow Jesus simply because of who He was, but also because who He was is who He is. That’s the reality. Who He was is who He is.
Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”. You might’ve heard that a thousand times, or glossed over it when reading, but just think about that for a minute. He has never changed. Ever! Rach and I recently went up Mount Wellington in Hobart while on a holiday, and the view was nothing short of breathtaking. Actually, I’m not sure if it was breathtaking because the air was too cold to breathe, or whether it was because of the view, but regardless, it was impressive! The God who created such enormity is still the same. Just as powerful. Just as extravagant. He is still able to do things like that, even in my life…to move mountains, to part waters, to break down the walls. He’s done it before, and He’ll do it again.
Think back to the most amazing demonstrations of Jesus’ power in history…His rising from the dead, His miracles, His works in your life. Think of your own history with Him…the breakthrough moments, a time when he healed you, or the day you first realised that He loved you. If you’ve never realised that, then think about it now. He loved you before your parents did. He is the same now. Just as close, just as in love with you, and just as powerful. His love endures forever.
We can too easily fall into the trap of forgetting who Jesus has been, and forgetting that He will be. As a good friend of ours reminded us recently, life can seem impossible if your perspective isn’t eternal. We are seated in “heavenly places”. Not standing, or shouting, or contending, but seated. We’re at rest in Him. That’s home base. In the scheme of eternity, all our trials seem to suddenly pale in comparison to God’s glory and sheer infinite existence. It’s not that our “stuff” is irrelevant…He cares about it more than we know…it’s just that we begin to see it can bow its knee before Him as we consider His constant love.
In the Old Testament, God’s people would often talk about Zion. It was the name of a hill in Jerusalem, but also represented the city of God – the place where He dwells. They desperately longed for it. Jesus tells the women at the well in John 4, however, that we don’t need to long for a physical place, or think of Him as “out there somewhere”. He is not the great scorekeeper in the sky. The place where He dwells is now in us. Zion has moved. Christ is in us, and we’re in Him. And the Spirit of Jesus in you at this moment is exactly the same – just as powerful, just as loving, just as pure – as He was when He took nails through His hands for you, and broke the hold of death a few days later. He was, and He always will be. And one day the city of God will be restored, because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He’ll be just as strong on that day as He is today.
Scriptures to check out: Psalm 29, Psalm 136, John 4:21-24, Hebrews 13:8.