The almighty and eternal God described himself in Exodus 3.14 as "I AM WHO I AM" which also meant, "I was what I was" and "I will be what I will be." This clearly expressed God's eternal nature. As Jesus ascended to Heaven before his disciples, he called out in Matthew 28.20, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." This "always" took in the very first acts of the past, the present and the very last acts of the future.✞
Christians have been encouraged down the years by the ever-present Jesus even when faced by persecution and fierce lions in Roman arenas. Jesus gave us unwavering love, grace, and peace in all circumstances. He promised nothing less than that he would be with us forever. Jesus as a historical person was indicated by the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet spoken by the glorified Christ in Revelation 22.13. Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Jesus' persecutors saw him pierced on the cross and thought he was finished but this was merely a new era that had begun. Jesus said, "I am with you always." What does his eternal presence mean to us today, even at this moment?✞
Jesus eternal nature and his huge collective memory from his omniscience ensure the past, present and future of the Body of Christ are under his complete control in Heaven. The past, present and future tenses stress both the Lord's eternal nature and Jesus vital place in history. People carry around memories of their past in their minds like Russian Dolls with layer upon layer of skirts and petticoats. On the outside, we may be 35, 55 or 75 years old but the baby still resided within. We are never free, and not far from our memories. Because of Jesus' eternal nature, he is the one unchanging element in the Heavenly Body. Jesus remains in control of the past, present, and future of all God's faithful people. He himself links together as one mind the past and present not just of our own personal existence but that of every other member of the Mystical Body. Jesus huge collective memory is like some great computer cloud that binds as one all God's people in the Body of Christ.✞
The past, present and future tenses stress both the Lord's eternal nature and Jesus vital place in history. Revelation 1.4 called Jesus, "He who is, and who was, and who is to come." This is a paraphrase of the divine name in Exodus 3.14-15, "God said to Moses, 'I am who I am.' This is what you are to say to the Israelites: "I am has sent me to you." God also said to Moses, 'Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob — has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation." Note that "I am who I am" may also be translated as "I will be what I will be." The Hebrew for LORD sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew for "I am" in verse 14. This reminds us also of Hebrews 13.8 which says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."✞
The Christian's eternal future in Heaven is dependant upon the fact of Jesus historical resurrection. Jesus historical resurrection was both an example and an encouragement to the Apostles and Early Church disciples. Jesus was, according to Colossians 1.18, the "firstborn among the dead." In Revelation 22.13, we hear Jesus also say, " I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." His historical resurrection is part of his future as it was part of his past.✞
Mark Twain (1835-1910 AD) the famous American writer and humorist once wrote, "I am greatly interested in the future. I expect to spend the rest of my life there." Jesus has a future because of his present and also his past. For now, we know only his presence in our lives, but the mystery unfolds! Patricia Emme in "God's Love: Minute Meditations" presents a lovely poem about God's eternal presence with us.✞
"I know that God is with me, For He warms me with His love,
He walks among the flowers, He paints the sky above.
He forms the red, red roses, And He makes the Bluebirds sing,
He fills my eyes with wonder, As He beckons to the Spring.
I know that God is with me, For He whispers in my ear,
'Be not afraid my little one, For I am always near!'"✞