“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Hallelujah – Jesus is risen!

The fact that our Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, following His sacrifice on the cross, gives us ultimate hope for our deliverance from sin and our receiving of eternal life (1 Corinthians 15). It also proves to us, more than anything else, that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who alone can give us eternal life in His name (John 20:31)

With this in mind, I wanted to share some reflections from my favourite Bible verse in this season of life, found in Hebrews 13:8. Let us explore the beauty of how Jesus, the risen King who conquered death and darkness, is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday

When having a conversation about theology with a mentor figure from my previous church over the Christmas period, he made a very fascinating comment at one point.

I like the Genesis 1 creation story, but I like the John 1 creation story even more.

It’s an insightful thought that highlights the key idea that John 1 teaches: the eternal Word who became flesh, Jesus Christ’s pivotal role in the creation of this entire universe. And He did so in perfect unison with His fellow members of the divine Trinity!

This is why the writer of Hebrews can confidently declare that Jesus Christ is the “same yesterday”. From eternity past, His nature has been the same.

Since Jesus has always been the same, we can be confident that Christ’s coming to earth was always God’s Plan A for humanity’s salvation.

He was not a last-minute fix to the problem of sin and evil in our world, but was always the centrepiece of God’s redemption plan.

His atoning sacrifice on the cross and His triumphant rise from the grave thereafter, serve as the climax of this redemption path.

This is why, 2,000 years later, we can look back to the cross as the greatest act of love there ever was (Romans 5:6-8).

We can also look back to the resurrection as the very thing that gives us hope that death has lost its sting.

Early on in His ministry, attending synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus fulfilled a prophecy from Isaiah when a scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him to read. Unrolling the scroll, Jesus found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus then declared that this scripture had been fulfilled in the hearing of those inside the synagogue – Isaiah’s prophecy had been fulfilled through Jesus’ arrival!

We see that all of Scripture, even from the very beginning of the Old Testament, points to God’s redemptive plan for the world.

Indeed, Jesus Himself declared that all the scriptures testify to Him (John 5:39).

In our own lives, we should also look back and see how Jesus has guided and protected us every step of the way.

There were surely many times where it was only by His grace and provision that we got by. Or perhaps we were struggling with an insecurity or worry, and had nothing but the abundance of His love to comfort us in this moment.

Understanding who Jesus always has been, may that give us the confidence and conviction to look to Him above all else now and beyond.

Jesus Christ is the same today

Just as Jesus has always been the same in the past, we can also trust that our risen Saviour remains the same today.

This is such an encouraging truth in the midst of our own struggles and the troubles we see in this world. It should reinforce our conviction that He is our ultimate hope amidst the brokenness and uncertainty in this life.

After all, as sinful people, our efforts to rectify the problems that plague us often turn out to be in vain (Ecclesiastes 2:11). In fact, the sinfulness within our hearts sometimes makes things even worse!

However, we are able to look to Jesus as the cornerstone to put our trust in (Acts 4:11) and as the solid foundation to build our lives on (Matthew 7:24-27).

Jesus is not just an inspirational figure from the past, He is real and His presence is an ever-present reality to believers. 

Today, you may be facing troubles in your life – whether in work, school, relationships, ministry or your family. You may be haunted by a sense of insecurity over whether you can measure up to a certain standard or be drained by a lack of hope and joy over what you’re facing.

I personally continue to battle through feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy in my own life. There are also sinful temptations that I continue to struggle against, which can threaten to entangle me in my walk with God (Hebrews 12:1).

Through it all, it is crucial that we remain firm in Christ as the solid rock on whom we depend on. He is dwelling in us and we have the Holy Spirit who helps us (John 14:26).

Even more profoundly, the fact that Jesus remains the same today is a crucial source of hope as we process tragedies and disasters that happen in our world.

As I write, the war in Ukraine is still raging on, decimating many Ukrainian and Russian lives. Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Israel-Hamas war continues to bring trauma and devastation to both Israel and Palestine. Civil wars in Africa rage on.

The geopolitical tensions around the world, and even the bitter polarisation within societies themselves, are a reminder of the danger and brokenness in our world.

Through these troubles, we can take heart that as the Lamb of God, Jesus bore the sins of this world on Himself.

His resurrection from the dead means that death and destruction, which we tragically still see so much of, will not have the final word. 

Jesus’ self-sacrificial grace and His resurrection power is the only thing that can break the cycle of violence, enmity and prejudice that fuels these tragedies.

Jesus Christ is the same forever

Perhaps the most encouraging and powerful truth in the entire Bible is that Jesus will remain the same forever.

Jesus is not just the same from the past through to today. Scripture teaches us – and gives us anticipation – that His glory and His Kingdom will reign forever, without end!

In this world of ours, leaders and authority figures will come and go, and the fame of stars can shine for a moment. They may seem very significant for a while, but they cannot reflect true eternal glory.

On the other hand, Jesus has ushered in a Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28). As the book of Revelation indicates, every living creature will offer praises “to Him who sits on the throne” (Revelation 5:13) and there will be an invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

To give you a picture of the glory that surrounds Jesus’ eternal reign, I can make a comparison to Taylor Swift’s electric Eras Tour performances – which I regard as one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.

I recall seeing her at the centre of a stage, with tens of thousands of adoring fans (some of whom were frenzied beyond imagination), dazzling us with her charisma and iconic songs.

It might have seemed like such a glorious moment for me and hundreds of thousands of other Eras Tour watchers, and yet the Kingdom of God, which Jesus has ushered in and is reigning at the centre of, is infinitely more glorious.

It is not based not on emotionally resonant song lyrics or a superstar personality, but on God’s steadfast and righteous love (Psalm 103:17)! 

And while the glamour and “glory” surrounding Taylor Swift will surely fade away, Jesus will forever be worshipped by saints, joyfully declaring with infinite gratitude “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord – Hosanna in the Highest!” (Matthew 21:9). 

Jesus will equip us for His purpose

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)

To close off this reflection, I want to highlight a largely overlooked biblical passage: these verses right at the end of the book of Hebrews.

Because Jesus gave His life for us on that cross, it is the ultimate display of God’s love. And that is why His blood has the power to usher in an eternal covenant with God and His people. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. 

And because Jesus was raised to life, it shows that our God is truly all-powerful – nothing in this universe is beyond His control. It also reflects the promise of resurrection power that He is offering us, every day of our lives.

Through what Jesus has done for us through the cross and His resurrection, we have the promise that He will equip us to live righteously according to His perfect will – so long as we are willing to be moulded by Him (Jeremiah 18) and be shaped into His handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). 

For those who have not believed in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and have not committed to following Him as their King – I pray that you would accept Him as King over your life. He is the only person who is truly worthy and who is able to fully care for you. 

And for those of us who already follow Jesus, who believe in His victory over sin and death, may we never cease to look to Him as our greatest reward and treasure. We can be assured that His presence was with us yesterday, remains with us today, and, above all else, promises to be with us forever!