There are times that a song gets stuck in my head. Last night I went to sleep with the words ‘Jesus You are the way’ playing in my mind. Those words were still there when I woke in the night, and again when I got up this morning. The song might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but those words bring an incredible truth that we should never forget or neglect. In a world of religious confusion and watered-down Christianity the truth is that Jesus is the only way to God.
Sometimes the way to Jesus and the road He calls those who follow Him to walk (walk not run!) is not as easy as we would like. We find that we seem to be walking against the flow of the rest of humanity. Sometimes we come up against seemingly impenetrable obstacles. I am currently on business in Bucharest. Last night I decided to walk the perimeter of the Romanian Parliament. This magnificent edifice was built by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the former dictator of Romania. Unfortunately for Ceaușescu, the Romanian people rebelled against his repressive and brutal rule and he was executed on 25 December 1989, before the palace was completed. It now stands as a monument to the folly of a man who believed in himself and not in God.
As I followed the narrow footpath around the Parliament I realised that I was walking against the flow! I deliberated about turning around but as the sun was already heading towards the horizon I continued to walk against the flow. Then I came up against a tree slap bang in the middle of the path. Perhaps this was a message that I should turn around and go with the flow. I didn’t, but thinking about the direction that the Romanian authorities clearly intended for me to travel and the obstacle blocking my path (regardless of direction) encouraged me because it was an excellent illustration of the daily challenges of following Jesus.
Jesus always walked against the flow. He could have kept quiet and followed the flow of the religious establishment. He would then have avoided a terrible flogging and an even more terrible death. But Jesus just kept going despite the arrows that were pointing in the opposite direction. Many around Jesus saw the tree that He was nailed to as the one obstacle Jesus could not overcome. Death is final isn’t it? Not to Jesus, and not for those who follow Him. There should be no obstacle in our journey large enough to stop us in our tracks or cause us to walk in the opposite and wrong direction.
Jesus is the only way. He walked the narrow path before us, and He overcame all the obstacles on our behalf. Why? Because of a love for us that defeats logic. No matter how difficult our journey is there is a place waiting for us at the end of that journey if we place our trust in Him – in a mansion with many rooms. Considerably more rooms than the palace that Nicolae Ceaușescu built.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:1-6 NIV)