Summary: In accepting Jesus and keeping His commands we find the way to a better life; forgiveness for our sins; reconciliation with God; and the assurance of eternal life.
Finding The Way
Reading: John 14:1-6
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Even when we think we have all the information we need to find our way it is still possible to be on the wrong path. A recent excursion in Barcelona, Spain brought this lesson home to me. Ill: Finding the hotel
If we consider the words of Jesus we must ask ourselves, how do I know The Way? How can we be sure that we have found the TRUE Way and are truly His disciples? How can we be sure that we are not actually following a path presented to us in error by others who are sincerely mistaken themselves (such as our parents, preachers, churches?) Jesus provides us the answer:
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”
To be sure that we have truly found Jesus, The Way, we must begin with the only reliable source of information about Him: THE BIBLE!
Surprising as it may be to some, a good place to start is with the OLD TESTAMENT...
I. FINDING THE WAY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
A. Though completed hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the Old Testament contains many things about Him. Jesus made this point on at least two occasions after His resurrection. First, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:
1. Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
2. Then, later with the apostles themselves:
Luke 24:44-47 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
3. Years later, the apostle Paul reminded the young evangelist Timothy of the value of the Old Testament Scriptures in making one wise concerning the salvation that is in Jesus:
2 Timothy 3:14-15 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
B. How can this be? From the Old Testament we see Jesus through the eyes of prophecy! For example, from Isaiah we can learn such things as:
1. The Birth of Jesus...
Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
2. The Sovereignty of Jesus...
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
3. The Suffering of Jesus...
Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
C. Many more prophecies could be taken just from Isaiah alone (one reason why he is commonly called "The Messianic Prophet").
1. Other prophets have much to say about Jesus. It has been estimated that there are more than 330 prophetic statements about Jesus found in the Old Testament!
2. So we should read the Old Testament in our efforts to find the true Jesus! But as important as it is in helping us to find Jesus, it’s purpose was predictive, to prepare people for Jesus. As Paul reminded the Galatians:
Galatians 3:24-25 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.