The other night I was talking to someone about my latest hobby horse (personality types). To my shame I found myself using the past tense about Jesus.
Now there are many appropriate ways of doing that: e.g. "Christ died for sins, once for all." But when we're talking about Christ's character, how horrible to find yourself describing Him merely in the past tense. Certainly His encounters with people in the Scriptures (whether with Adam or Jacob, Elijah or Nicodemus) show us brilliantly what He was like. But, but, but... It's all to the end of showing us who He IS.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb 13:8)
Who He is in His word is who He is right now as He encounters you by His Spirit in the pages of Scripture and the words of your brothers and sisters. The same Jesus addresses you today with the same character and in the same power.
It's been a real joy preparing a sermon on Mark 1:40-2:17 for this Sunday. Jesus cleanses the leper, forgives the paralytic and dines with the tax collector. That's what He was like. That's what He is like.
We the unclean, the weak, the sinful, the outcasts, the shamed - we are the same as them. And He is the same as then.
Do you recognize yourself in the leper, the paralytic and the tax collector? Then Jesus is saying to you right now:
I am willing, be clean.
Son, Daughter, your sins are forgiven.
I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.
Jesus Christ is now to you what He was to them. You can stake your life on it.