Our Unchanging Christ
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
Today's verse is interesting. The context here is that the writer of Hebrews was ending off his letter. He asked his audience to remember and walk in the ways of those who came before them and lead faithful, righteous lives. The reason? Jesus Christ is unchanging.
At the heart of Christianity is its namesake: Christ. As Christians, since it was Christ who died on the cross and came back to life, that is the foundation of our faith. It observes and denotes both love and holiness. A separation from that which otherwise tethers us; and an act that encompasses God's great love.
So it is that Christ should be our quintessence: his doctrine is the way that we should live. Here, the writer of Hebrews states something that is pertinent especially in our current times and for all future times: Christ does not change. Times and culture change and perhaps things may fall in and out of redundancy, but the doctrine of Christ and the acts of Christ are unyielding to time.
If you look back at all the commandments and teachings of Christ, you see that a lot of it has to do with love. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength and mind. Love your neighbour as yourself. Love your enemies. Honour your father and mother.
And also to follow him. To follow him and become fishers of men. To follow him and carry our crosses. To follow in his footsteps and love each other as he did.
And of course, to reflect this way of life to others around us.
All with a promise that we can ask and receive, that the Spirit will be with us to the end, so that we can do God's work and spread the gospel in order to reconcile people with Christ. It's never about the rules or regulations with Christianity. Legalism died with the Pharisees. It's about love and holiness; and these are the foundations that will never shatter under the tides of time.
We can learn from the ways of those who came before us. That is the Bible. Not because the Bible is some reference book or rulebook that we have to follow down to the 'Ts' and if the Bible doesn't say something we have to decide it by ourselves and determine what's best. That's a legalistic way of thinking.
Rather, we need to look into the Bible at the lives of those who came before us, including Christ himself; and glean what we can from how they lived out Christ's teachings, his holiness and his love. That is what the Bible provides, the same purpose that the apostles and leaders provided to the first century disciples, and what leaders at church now who live righteously provide.
God's expectations are unchanging. He only ever wanted a relationship with us and so He gave his one and only son. Our job is just to learn how to reciprocate.
Daniel is currently and forevermore will be a student and a learner, trying to delve into the deep conundrums of life and seeing where the path leads. He enjoys linking different things in life back to God through strange and seemingly random connections.