Jesus created Time: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 7)
“through whom he also created the ages.”
When we think of Christ being the means, or the Word, of creation, typically, we think in terms of material “stuff” that is all around us. We think of rocks and trees, of birds and clouds, of stars and of everything else in this wonderful creation from the greatest heavenly body to the smallest microbe, quark, and string. But, oftentimes, we do not think of time in the context of God’s creation, yet, indeed, it was. Prior to the God’s creative act, time simply did not exist. God dwelt in perfect satisfaction in eternity prior, with no beginning, end, or middle. For most of us, that begins to make our heads hurt just a bit. Yet, time is a description of a progression of events with a definite beginning and a possible end. Eternity has no such progression, for to suggest eternity is bound by time, and hence God as well, is to suggest that God has a beginning, and such is not the case. In the beginning (of time) God was—he simply was, no temporal markers defined his existence, he simply existed (Genesis 1:1). And as God is the beginning, the great Alpha and Omega, all things, including time, flowed forth from his creative process—indeed flowed forth through the Son of God—the Word.
It is interesting, when we think of time, to see the difference between the way we usually behave toward time and to the way in which the Bible speaks of time. In scripture, there is a sense of time’s fleetingness. We are told over and over that time is short, that the return of our Lord is near, that the life of man is but a vapor and passing quickly, etc… Yet, despite all of these warnings and testimonies in God’s word, we usually go about our daily activities as if time were in abundance. We put off much that we ought to do today until tomorrow and then into the following weeks if it is not pressing. We usually do not conduct our affairs as if time is running out. Thomas Manton, the Puritan divine, once reflected that if a town were on fire and the fire was spreading, people would not go about their daily affairs at the usual pace. Instead, they would spring to action, alerting all of the imminent danger and would find a renewed vigor as they sought to do their duty in saving the town.
Beloved, we have been lulled into a slumber while the enemy is burning down our nation and indeed even the church. What is it that we are doing to alert our neighbors and fellow villagers? Are we doing our duty and joining the bucket brigade to extinguish this fire? Are we running through the village, joining the town crier, proclaiming, “Danger is Near! Danger is Near!” To change the analogy to one from our own national history, will you be like Samuel Prescott, and join Paul Revere and William Dawes on their ride to warn the valiant defenders of our land that the enemy is coming? Do you recall, that it is only Samuel Prescott who completed his ride to Concord? Dear friends, will you remain in your slumber, or will you shout loudly and proclaim that danger is upon us! Loved ones, we do not know how the War for Independence might have proceeded had Prescott not rallied himself from his slumber and joined the ride. Loved ones, the scripture cries to us that time is short and that even though many may mock you and proclaim that nothing has changed since their father’s day and nothing is bound to change, these are lies worked by enemies of God who are destined for judgment (2 Peter 3:1-7). No, loved ones, in this battle we need not fear the approach of the redcoats, but instead the fire of God’s impending judgment. You who are born again in Jesus Christ are ready, but what of those around you? Are they ready as well? And you who have been born again, are you prepared to present yourself as a faithful servant before our God, having studied to show yourself approved (note the importance of studying God’s word to our lived out sanctification!)? If not, count this as your clarion call as well. Awake beloved, our Lord has created time and has set its boundaries, and whether our Lord returns before the end of the day or whether he tarries another thousand years (or more), we have been given a job to do—to go into all the world and to make disciples of all men—a task that begins at home and extends to every corner of the earth; it is a task we will not succeed in if we slumber through the days that God has granted to us.