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Sermon 1/22/06 - The Same
Psalm 102:25-27

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The Same

Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, all of them will grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end” (Psalm 102:25-27)

In today’s Scripture, the Psalmist reveals that God is our Creator. And His creation, the very heavens that surround us will NOT stay as they are. As it says, they “grow old like a garment,” and there will be a need to “change them” at a time of His choosing. But of God it is revealed, “You are the same, and Your years will have no end.” Even the atoms and the stars will no longer be in their present form, but God is eternally the same.

The author of the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament, quotes those verses in Psalms and applies them to Jesus Christ, God the Son. The Book of Hebrews expressed it this way: “But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,'” (Hebrews 1:8-12), observing, “they (the heavens) will perish” (Hebrews 1:11), but “You (Jesus Christ) are the same, and Your years will not fail” (Hebrews 1:12). We don’t truly understand eternity and we don’t know how the One God can be not only the Father, but also the Son, however, the Bible assumes They have been "the Same" – forever!

The Book of Genesis opens with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The word chosen for “God” in that verse is the Hebrew PLURAL, “Elohim.” The singular form for “God” (“El”) could have been used, or it might have been the word for Two (“Ella”), but the human author, Moses, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, carefully chose “Elohim,” which can be translated as “More Than Two Gods.” Somehow, God, who is indeed ONE, is also even more, for God includes “the Son,” and They ALWAYS remain “the Same,” as described in Hebrews and Psalms.

The “plural Oneness” of God is revealed in Deuteronomy 6:4, the famous “Schma!” (“Hear”) of the Jewish people, where it says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.” The word for “God” in that verse is “Elohim” (More than Two). “One” could have been the Hebrew “Yaheed” (“Absolute One”), but instead “echad” was chosen, which carries the idea of a Plurality within One. I have one car which is comprised of more than two parts. The word “echad” describes that car, and it also describes the “One God.”

Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, Son of God, always was and is in eternity. In the Book of Micah, in the Old Testament, it was foretold that He would be from “everlasting,” literally from “the days of eternity.” And yet, the same verse (Micah 5:2), relates that He would come from the little town of “Bethlehem.” I don’t know about you, but I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in eternity, to have everything, and then DESCEND to a lowly, questionable birth in a small town. But He did it, out of His love for you and me.

To the extent we CAN understand, we do know this: Eternity was and is a place without hunger, sorrow, or lack of – anything! There is no death. And Jesus Christ, the One described as “God” in Psalm 102:24 and Hebrews 1:8, was and always is the true King. He is the One who utterly “has everything.” He is the Creator, and if any lack has existed at any time, He merely spoke and it was made whole.

And suddenly (though it was not “sudden” to his human mother, Mary); He became a human baby. Stop reading if this offends you, but He drooled, His swaddling cloths had to be changed, food was required for Him, whereas previously He needed nothing, and He who spoke the worlds into existence, now knew no words, and had to learn – everything!

He was essentially a fugitive in His youth, for Herod the Great, King of Judea, sought to kill Him, necessitating a flight first to Egypt, and then relocation to the region of Galilee. Note that the prophet Isaiah had said the Messiah would emerge from “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Isaiah 9:1, 6). Herod died, but animosity lived on his son, who took the throne in Judea. Nazareth was an obscure, small place, and it is assumed that Jesus trained to be a carpenter, like His step-father, Joseph. Then came a few years of public ministry, followed by His arrest as a criminal, and His execution by the very ones He came to save: the Jews, who were condemning Him, and the Gentiles, represented by the Romans who directly killed Him. And we were there, for it was our sins that necessitated His death.

He came from eternity. He was God who descended into the depths of this world, taking on the nature of a mere Man and then He died a terrible death. His circulatory system no longer functioned and He was indeed dead, but then He rose again, once more to live as King in eternity. Like anyone who has undergone incredible, stressful, and amazing experiences, it would seem that He must be CHANGED by what had happened. Yet we know from today’s Scripture and others like it, that He is always “the same.” As expressed in Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – But considering the changed circumstances He experienced; HOW is He the same?

His CHARACTER is the same. He was, is and always will be: “Holy” (Luke 1:35), “Just” and Righteous and yet Gentle and “Lowly” (Zechariah 9:9), Innocent (Isaiah 53:9, 1 Peter 2:22), “Merciful” (Hebrews 2:17), “Humble” (Philippians 2:8) and Forgiving (Luke 23:34). He is the type of Friend that deep inside you always have hoped for, had you even known that such a Person could exist. He is the kind of God you and anyone else would want to trust in, once you have discovered Who He really IS!

Most of all, He always was and always will be – “Faithful.” Scripture says of Him, He was “made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest to make propitiation for the sins of the people. ForHe Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18). He became like you and me, a human being, with all the frailties implied by what He did. He was tempted like we are “but without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He hears and understands your need. We are sinners who occasionally serve God, but most often we serve our own needs first. Jesus Christ was not like that – He “was FAITHFUL to Him who appointed Him” (Hebrews 3:2). He ALWAYS did the will of the Father. Your Friend On High is FAITHFUL! He loves you, even to the extent of dying for your sins; the Innocent for the guilty. Let’s thank Him who is always the same and loves us all:

Lord, thank You for all that You have done. Forgive us our sins and Lord, we TRUST in You. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
First Church On The Net
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

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