Jesus is the way to god
The third part of our Five Part Story is, Jesus is the Way to God.
As I once noted in a sermon, this journey frocm death to life, from failure to redemption forms the basis for some of the greatest stories of the human race. From Homer’s the Odyssey, to Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, to Conrad’s Lord Jim, to Star Wars (remember Darth Vader?) authors and movie makers have tried to offer us visions of redemption. The Biblical story is no different. The difference between the great tales of literature and the scriptures however, is that the former are dealing in fiction while the latter is dealing with reality.
The New Testament is the story of redemption; a redemption which has been made possible by Jesus of Nazareth. Just as the Old Testament began with saga, so too does the New Testament. In Matthew, Luke and John we are offered glimpses of angels delivering messages, babies leaping in wombs, mysterious strangers from the East delivering gifts and an amazing poetic description of Jesus as the Word made flesh; of Jesus as God incarnate in our midst. These stories are intended to inform us of the unique character and mission of Jesus. He is the one, sent by God, to lead God’s people back into right relationship with God.
The manner in which Jesus accomplishes this mission and becomes the Way to God is twofold. The first way forms the heart of the Gospel of John, central parts of Paul’s theology and portions of the Book of Hebrews. They all claim that Jesus is the Way to God because Jesus and God are mysteriously one. John 1:14 makes clear that in Jesus, God “became flesh and dwelt among us.” Paul writes in Colossians 2:9 that “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus “reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature.”
These descriptions remind us that Jesus can lead us back to God because Jesus is connected to God in a way that the rest of us are not; that the rest of us cannot be connected to God. Jesus becomes then the bridge between heaven and earth; a bridge over which we can travel back into the heart of God.
The second way in which Jesus is the Way to God is that Jesus deals directly with sin. Sin is the human condition which causes us to Wander Far from God. Unless sin is dealt with, humanity will never be able to turn away from its death dealing and turn to God’s life giving ways. The heart of the New Testament story is that by Jesus going to the cross and being raised from the dead, the power of sin is finally broken. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection sin and death have been defeated. What this means for humanity is that we can now both see the path back to God (Jesus being the bridge) and we can follow the path (Jesus has taken care of sin). Thus reconciliation and new life have become possible.
As I noted above the difference between stories of redemption (literature and movies) and the Biblical story (the work of Jesus) is the difference between fiction and non-fiction. While stories can inspire us, Jesus changes us. For two thousand years more than a billion followers of Jesus Christ have found their lives transformed by their relationship with Jesus. Through their faith in him they have found forgiveness, redemption and new life. They have left brokenness behind and found new possibilities for full and inspiring lives. Their lives, our lives, are testaments to the reality that Jesus is the Way to God.