By Todd Pekel


God's eternal purpose is to be found in Jesus Christ. By faith we have access to the Father through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the basis for, or the foundation of, our faith. It is by Jesus Christ and through Jesus Christ that we have access to the Father. And so we turn to Hebrews 13:8, which will be the theme of this series, “Yesterday, Today & For Ever.”

Hebrews 13:8:
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Hebrews 12:1-2a:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith....

Jesus Christ is the author and finisher; he is the beginner and completer, the alpha and omega. Yes, we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, but witnesses to what?

Hebrews 11:4:
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which [faith] he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it [faith] he being dead yet speaketh.

By faith Abel obtained witness that he was righteous. The only righteousness that has ever stood the scrutiny of God is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The Word of God says that no man is righteous on his own, no man can stand before God by his own righteousness. How did Abel do it?

Genesis 4:1-5:
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

By faith Abel obtained witness. How did he do it? Well there’s only ONE WAY, and that’s by the faith of Jesus Christ, God’s Eternal Purpose. “No man,” said Jesus, “cometh unto the Father but by me.” How could Able have the faith of Jesus Christ, if Jesus hadn’t come yet? Good question, right? Well, do you remember the fall of Adam and Eve?

Genesis 3:7:
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Their eyes were opened after sin had entered and they tried to cover their sin. They tried to cover themselves. This however didn’t work and God revealed to them that he would cover their sin with a redeemer. Someone would pay the price for sin and defeat the enemy who had deceived Eve, who gave to Adam and they did eat the fruit from the forbidden tree.

Genesis 3:15:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Along with this promise God gives us the first “type or picture” of the very nature of the sacrifice and the results of it. This sacrifice would be a covering for sin. They were provided a covering for their nakedness. God clothed them.

Genesis 3:21:
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

God didn’t create new animals to make these coats of skins. He must have used animals that were already there in the Garden as the result of his original handiwork. Remember, Adam named all the animals.

Although the animal used isn’t named, one could safely bet that it was a lamb, as it was a picture of Christ. Remember what John the Baptist said when seeing Jesus coming to him to be baptized?

John 1:29:
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

To this agree the following Scriptures:

Genesis 22:8:
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

John 1:36:
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. Jesus Christ is the basis of and the reason for our faith in God.

Romans 3:21-22a:
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe...

We have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Jesus Christ. Remember the coats of skin God provided to clothe Adam and Eve? Well, the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, is unto all and upon all that believe. We are literally clothed in the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:2:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Moreover, there is only one way to get this faith. That’s by hearing God’s Word.

Romans 10:17:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So whether it be Adam, Abel, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, David, Isaiah, Paul, Peter or you and me, our access to the Father is by and through the faith of Jesus Christ. It is to all those who embrace the promise.

Galatians 2:20:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Philippians 3:9:
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Therefore we who live in the time of the better things to come can take joy in the surety of the one who is faithful and true. The one who paid the way for our access to the Father with his own blood, so that we may worship the Father in Spirit and truth. The type and shadow having been fulfilled in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:24:
And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

It speaks better things than that of Abel because the promise has been fulfilled, the picture has been developed and is in full color for all the world to see. The color is crimson red. The color of our Lord’s blood.

Hebrews 9:14:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Jesus Christ is God’s Eternal Purpose.

Hebrews 13:8:
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.



From the March 2000 issue of The Vine & Branches