Is There Anything Constant And Certain In This Life?

Text: Isaiah 40:1-8

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

Everything in life is like grass.  Grass comes, and it goes.  It is temporary.  It grows, blooms for a time, and then dies.  Yes, that about summarizes life. 

You see, with life, nothing is constant.

Nothing lives forever. 

Trees are planted, only to rot and fall in storms.

Buildings are built, only to topple and decay. 

Statues are crafted, only to weaken and become brittle. 

Roads are paved, only to crack. 

Cars are crafted, only to rust out and fall apart. 

And our very lives?  We grow up.  We are young and beautiful for a time, but time marches on, and we grow old.  And eventually, we get used up.  We become spent and then are discarded to the grave. 

Sure we try and keep ourselves in the game as long as we can.  We have heart bypasses, hip replacements, surgeries, plastic surgery, and so forth.  But all of this is short-lived and temporary.  We all come, and we all go. 

We are like that Christmas tree, decorated and lit up for a brief festivity. But then our ornaments and glory are stripped off over time.  Our happy needles fall off, and our limbs become brittle and weak.  At the end of our life, we are bare, dry, and lifeless – spent and used up and ready to be tossed to the side of the curb.[1]

How is that for comfort this evening? 

This is hardly comforting at all!

Indeed, this is not comforting, but it is true.  You and I are like grass.  We are fragile.  We wither.  We die because of our sin.  And friends, there is absolutely nothing you or I can do to stop this.  We cannot stop time from marching on.  We cannot stop ourselves from withering. 

Life, though, seems so permanent and long when you are young.  But visit with anyone older in life, and you will hear from them how fast and brief life is.  You will hear from them how brittle, fragile, and vulnerable human life is. 

And this is exactly what we are hearing from the Prophet Isaiah this evening.  We hear from Isaiah that we are like grass.  He does this to show that all of us human beings are mortal – subject to death and decay. 

Now, if this is true – which it certainly is – why on earth should we spend time listening to Isaiah?  Furthermore, why should you spend any of your precious time listening to a preacher-man on a Wednesday night?  I mean, what’s the point?  If we are like grass, only here for a moment, why bother?  Yes, why bother to listen or do anything? 

We bother to listen to Isaiah because Isaiah speaks tonight of something that is not like grass.  He speaks of the Word of God. 

You see, the Word of God never fails.  It never withers.  We come and go, but God’s Word stands forever.  The Word is reliable.  God’s Word is true and permanent.  So, when we hear a promise in God’s Word, that promise is true and unchanging.  We can take it to the bank.  As temporary-withering-changing-persons, we can hang our body upon it.  We can trust the Word. 

And the reason why we can trust the Word?  The Word is not some changing ideology.  The Word is not some superficial cliché.  The Word is not some bias opinion.  NO!  The eternal Word is Jesus. 

Listen closely!  Yes, listen very closely to what I am about to say.  The Christmas story is about the speech of God putting on human flesh.  Otherwise stated, the Word that was in the beginning, creating all things – the word “Let there be Light!” – that Word, yes, that Word becomes flesh and blood and is laid in the manger. 

What this means is that when your ears hear the Word in the Old Testament, you are hearing Jesus.  And when you hear Jesus in the New Testament, you are hearing God’s Word.  In other words, Jesus is not only the center of the Bible but the very author of the whole Bible. 

It makes sense why the Word of God does not wither or change because Jesus never withered or changed.  Jesus never changed in His course of the cross.  Furthermore, Jesus did not wither in the grave but rose from the grave to stand on two feet.  And so, when Isaiah says that the Word will stand forever, we know that the Word stands on two legs as a resurrected man – Jesus Christ.[2]  

Dear Baptized Saints, for God’s Word to change or wither, our Lord Jesus would have to be pulled out of heaven and shoved back into the tomb.  However, that cannot happen and will not happen because Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. 

And so, you have the certainty of the Word.  You have the unchanging promises of our Lord.  And because of this, you know that in spite of being like grass, your Lord Jesus Christ will not forget you in death.  He will not let you wither to hell.  He knows your struggle in this life.  He knows your sins.  And by His perfect life, death, and resurrection, He proclaims to you that your sins are forgiven. 

And because this Word of forgiveness is true, unchanging, and everlasting, you can know that you are completely and totally – 100% forgiven – because Jesus says so.  Jesus intends to keep His Word because He fulfilled everything He spoke in the Old Testament. 

This evening, we then cling to the Word – Jesus Christ – yet again.  We know that Jesus is our only hope and comfort in the changing winds of time.   People come and go — building rise and fall.  Roads are paved and cracked.  Life and death come to us all.  Nothing in life is certain, except Jesus.  Nothing is guaranteed in this world, except God’s Word.  The Word does not rest upon opinions, fads, fashions, trends, or emotions.  It is the surest thing that we have in this life – it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. 

Comfort, comfort, to you this evening, dear Baptized Saints.  Comfort to you in God’s Word.  Yes, rest comfortably in the Word who stands forever. 

In the name of Jesus: Amen. 

[1] Illustration indebted to Rev. Sean Daenzer. 
[2] Ibid.

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