Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Transcendence of Jesus

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

My wife is 9,000 miles away on the other side of the world in South Africa.  We talk every day and yesterday, while we were talking, I mentioned seeing the moon rising in the east.  On her side of the world, from where she was sitting, she said she could see the moon as well, in the western sky.  A half a world apart, we were seeing the same moon at the same time. 

People all over the world have viewed that same moon down through history.  Regardless of the color of our skin, our cultural heritage, where we live, or where our respective ancestors lived, the moon has never changed.  The one my wife and I saw from very different geographical perspectives yesterday is the same one viewed by all who are living and who have ever lived.

My experience yesterday put this verse in a much clearer perspective.  Though our world has changed in unfathomable ways over the past 2,000 years, Jesus is still the same.  Though the people who worship and have worshipped Jesus down through history are vastly different, He is still the same.  And though we may be separated by several time zones or by centuries, the One whom we worship as Lord is the same.

The Church has always held its history in great respect because, as the Hebrew writer notes, it is through that history by which we are surrounded by “such a great cloud ofwitnesses” that unites us as believers regardless of time or culture.  Think about it: The Jesus that Peter and Paul worshipped is the same as you and I worship.  And the Jesus that hundreds of millions of people have worshipped down through the ages is the same as we worship today.  And the Jesus the believers in rural China, the Massai believers in Kenya, and the believers in South Korea worship is the same as you and I worship. 

Like Peter while walking on the water, it is only when we take our eyes off of Jesus that we begin to sink into the waters of division and disunity as a community of believers.  I think this is why the Hebrew writer, after speaking of the cloud of witnesses, commands us to fix our eyes on Jesus. Because He is unchanging, He is the one fixed point in our lives and in all of history by which our lives are kept on the right course.  Without Him, we lose our sense of where we are and where we are headed. 

Today, recognize the transcendence of Jesus.  Down through the ages, across cultures and geography, He is timeless and omnipresent.  He is our fixed point in life, what unites us as a community of believers.  He always has been and always will be.

© Jim Musser 2016

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