“He ever lives to intercede”, “He is the life”, the “I AM”, “the same yesterday, today and forever”, “slain from the foundation of the world”, ” He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” These few verses quickly came to me while pondering the timelessness of our Savior.
We are creaturely and therefore limited by time, but God being the Creator isn’t confined to time. Eternity, instead of being what we might call a long time, really can’t be defined by time at all. Sometimes we say things like “in eternity past” or “eternity future.” The truth is eternity is simply eternity. It is a timeless realm where everything simply “is”. This is where our God, the Great “I AM” resides.
You may be asking, “why is he talking about this?” Well, the question will inevitably arise, “How does Jesus Christ dying 2,000 plus years ago affect me today? How can what He did on the cross, on a hill called Calvary, in a place called Golgotha, at a specific time in history that many years ago include me?”
While there may be many ways to go about answering this question, for now let’s look in Numbers 19. This chapter is dealing with a red heifer and how it provided cleansing for the Old Testament worshiper. Without attempting to define all of what this means, let me just say the red heifer was in fact killed and burned at a particular point in time, yet its ashes were sprinkled on the worshiper at a later date. For instance, the heifer could have been killed and burned to ash on a particular day of one week, but then sprinkled, or applied, to the worshiper a week later. So we see, while the death of the heifer did in fact take place at a very specific time and place, yet the worshiper is declared clean days later. In the same way we can see Christ crucified on a specific date, in what we call the past, and yet even now His death, burial and resurrection is sufficient and can be applied to us, by way of His Spirit, on what we call today.
As you read through the letter to the Hebrews, you will see that all of what came before Jesus Christ such as the Old Covenant, Temple, sacrifices, priesthood, etc. were what are known as types and shadows. In fact, Hebrews 8 tells us, “Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
So we can see that everything used in the work of the Old Testament priesthood to cleanse the worshiper was temporal at best. These were simply tools God gave Moses in order to reveal Heavenly, timeless truth to humans living an earthly, time-based existence. The good news is we now have a better Covenant with better promises. The Old Covenant was only put in place till Christ came; so now, through His Spirit, we can enjoy not only the cleansing of our flesh, but we can actually enjoy a cleansed conscience. Unlike the ashes of a heifer, the blood of Jesus Christ enables us to enter the Holy Place with confidence. We can now “draw near with sincere hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22).
Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He came here to offer “whosoever will” an eternity with Him in Glory. Even though the Lamb was slain from before the foundation of the world, It was manifested through Jesus’ perfect, sinless life being given as an offering for many on the cross. So, essentially what had been ordained from before the foundation of the world, in eternity, was worked out in the life of Christ in a specific time and place. What an amazing God we have that He would go to such lengths to save us!
Jesus Christ is “The Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
“Jesus is now our High Priest forever”; and He “has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16-17).