A Direct Route

     I made a quick run down to Birmingham Tuesday. The weather was good and the traffic was a mixture of light and reasonable. Interstate 65 makes a trip like that something that can be just a portion of the day’s activities. As many of you know, it has not always been that way. It wasn’t so terribly far back that to contemplate going from Athens to Birmingham and back in one day would make a person shake his head!

Imagine (or remember) making that trip using US Highway 31. Even now it would take at least twice as long as using the Interstate. The point is, having a clear (usually) and direct route makes traveling much easier and more efficient.

     Thinking about this brought a passage from the Gospel of John to mind: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (14:6). We remember that in this section of John Jesus is preparing His men for His death on the cross. He promised them that He would send the Comforter to help them once He was gone. This He did as we can read in Acts, chapters 1 and 2. In the passage from which we took this verse He encourages them to place their confidence in Him.

     So it is that He reminds them of the singular and exclusive pathway to the Father, namely, Himself. Just like Interstate 65 is the direct route from Athens to Birmingham, Jesus Christ is the direct route from here to Heaven.

     Some might say, “Well, there is more than one way to get to Birmingham from Athens.” They would be correct. But if one goes on to say, “There is more than one way to get to the Heaven” that would be incorrect. The analogy breaks down as illustrative analogies tend to do. The statement Jesus made in John 14:6 is of such a construction that it eradicates the possibility for there to be any other “way” to Heaven but Jesus Christ.

     According to the Bible, He is our direct route to Heaven. People talk about what they think and how they feel about this, but the Biblical text is clear. Salvation is in Christ by His shed blood (Galatians 3:26-29, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Romans 6:1-6). What we think and feel makes no difference in the final analysis; the only things that matter are the sacrifice of Christ and our obedience to Him (Ephesians 2:8-9, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). We can go to Birmingham any way we please. But if we want to go to Heaven we can only go in Christ.