“Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way …
And the same time
there arose no small stir
about that way.”
John 14:6; Acts 19:23
My last post ended with the question, “How can we know the way?”
A Story Begins:
Thirty minutes turned into three hours. We breathed a sigh of relief as we reached the entrance ramp onto the interstate. Two ramps stood before us – one taking us to our destination the other in the opposite direction. A state trooper stood between the two. Our hopes began to fade as we watched him direct every vehicle to the ramp leading the wrong way. Ours received the same fate. The accident on the interstate blocked all eastbound traffic. Nine hours on the road and we would have to travel two hours in the wrong direction and another three on a winding mountain highway in the dark before reaching our destination. In short, a seven hour drive took fourteen hours and three of it an unchartered route.
We thanked the Lord for putting us behind a truck that navigated the hairpin turns with ease and lighted the way ahead of us until we faced another choice. The truck took a turn we didn’t think we were supposed to take. Should we keep following or take the way we had been told?
In life we are offered two ways to travel –
“Enter ye in at the strait gate:
- for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and
many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate,
- and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and
few there be that find it.”
Which way do we take? Broad or narrow? How do we know the way that leads to life? Jesus tells us he is the way. He tells us –
“If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me.”
Not many will choose Jesus’ narrow way – the way of the cross. Those following Jesus choose the way of the cross. That is the first place he leads us. It means death to our flesh’s inclination to please itself above all else.
“Know ye not,
that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ
were baptized into his death …
that our old man is crucified with him,
that the body of sin might be destroyed,
that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
The way of Jesus leads us to his cross – to the death of our sinful nature. That which is dead has no power to do or be right or wrong. The dead is dead. The way of the cross brings death to the flesh’s power to sin and opens the way of new life, a life of power over sin –
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:
that like as Christ was raised up from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in newness of life…
For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him:”
Jesus’ way of the cross leads to a departure from the way of the world.
- “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:
- but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you…
- These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.
- In the world ye shall have tribulation:
- but be of good cheer:
- I have overcome the world.” John 15:19; 16:33
The way of the Jesus’ cross is the path to the throne of God.
“AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES
WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE.
- Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
- Having therefore brethren boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
- By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh …
- Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…
- Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
- that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 10:17-20,22 ;4:16
If the way of Jesus’ cross ended our journey, we would be left without hope for anything better than the world’s way. The journey begins at the cross but is realized at the tomb. The way of the cross opens the door to the life promised to those who follow the Way, enter the Door, and receive the Life.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1:3
Ending the Story:
We chose to depart from the truck and trust the word of the trooper. When the lights of the conference center came into sight, with as much energy as we had left, we rejoiced. One day, after following the Way, we will enter through the Door to see the Light of the world and rejoice with exceeding great joy forever in his presence.
How will your story end?