"Jesus Christ, the Same."

Jesus, well-known in His path of humiliation and sorrow in this world, is presented in the glory of His Person in the first chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews. Being the Son, He is consequently the appointed Heir of all things; and in addressing Him God says, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." Hebrews 1:8. Here is the Apostle, through whom God speaks to men; and in whom is introduced and established the divine and heavenly system of blessing and glory that is about to fill the universe. In Hebrews 2 He is presented as perfect Man, espousing the cause of men, not that of angels; and delivering men from the bondage of Satan, bringing them into association with Himself; and maintaining as High Priest the divine system He established as Apostle. Well do we then to consider, as exhorted at the beginning of Hebrews 3, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.

How sweet it is to the soul to contemplate that the One who took the Name of Jesus, the One we know and love as Jesus, is "Jesus Christ, the Same yesterday, and today, and for ever." This sweet and precious Name is often mentioned in this epistle, where He is so active towards us in priestly grace, succouring, sympathising, and supporting us as we pass through the wilderness; having Himself passed the way before us, knowing experimentally all that we have known of its rough ways, and all that we shall ever be called upon to pass through, for He was tempted in all points, like as we are, sin apart. If we are under pressure, in weakness of body, passing through sorrows, or enduring any of the manifold trials that belong to men down here, how blessed for us that He sits on the throne of grace, to which we can draw near with boldness. He does not promise to take us out of the adverse circumstances, but supplies mercy and help for every time of need; lifting our spirits above the desert testings to be occupied with Himself in the presence of God. To this end He passed through the heavens, to appear before the face of God for us. We often fail, but there can be no failure with Him; He ever lives to make intercession for us, and will maintain us all the way until we reach the rest of God.

In Hebrews 8 we see Jesus as Minister of the Sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which God pitched and not man. Our souls should rejoice and delight to know that Jesus in heaven maintains us down here in testimony for the pleasure of God; preparing a table at which we can serve God in holy and reverential fear, and where we can feed with deepest pleasure. Knowing the Lord in this way we can truly join the praises He leads to the Father in the midst of the assembly. Then in Hebrews 10 we see Him as having accomplished a mighty work in offering Himself, a sacrifice for sins, once for all. In the glory of this great work, He now sits down at God's right hand; and we have boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus. God's presence has been opened up to us, and God has given us the moral fitness to be with Him in spirit there, and this through the work of the Lord Jesus upon the cross. Without the work of the cross, and God's working within us, applying that work to heart and conscience we could not be there; but we can enter because Jesus is there, the Great Priest over the house of God. What a place of glory that is! Everything in the holiest speaks of glory, God's glory; and the fragrance of Jesus too fills the dwelling place of God. Even as has been written:
'Tis Jesus fills that holy place
Where glory dwells, and thy deep love
In its own fulness (known through grace)
Rests where He lives, in heaven above.

The path of faith we see begun and completed by Jesus in Hebrews 12. What a path that was, ending with the judgment and shame of the cross! But the joy before Him, the place prepared at the right hand of the throne of God, enabled Him to endure all the judgment and to despise the shame. In lowly grace He endured the contradiction of sinners, and resisted unto blood in the conflict of good against evil. So that we have Him both as an object for the heart and as an example in the course we are called upon to take through this world. If we would be for God's glory, the eye must rest on Jesus, and all inconsistent with Him must be laid aside, and endurance must mark us in the race that leads to where Jesus is gone.

Hebrews 13 tells us that He is "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." Whether we view Him yesterday, upon the cross, or today in the presence of God, or to the ages of ages with His loved ones, He abides the same. What comfort to the heart to know Him thus while passing through a world of constant change! Refused by the world, the Lord accepted the outside place, and suffered without the gate. Our place, if we would be faithful to Him, is to share His rejection; therefore are we exhorted to go forth unto HIM without the camp, bearing His reproach. The camp is a worldly system of religion for man in the flesh, out of which those faithful to Christ must remove if seeking His honour, and if desiring His company. The apostle John says, "Little children, it is the last hour." We are on the last lap of the race, and it is the most testing; but if we look to "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever," He will give all the grace and help we need to finish the course aright, and so have His approval at His coming.
J. Muckle.