Summary: The Path to Jerusalem for Jesus contained His Betrayal, His Arrest and His Persecution. Our lives as Christians will also, in some form or another, contain similar Betrayals, possible confinement and most assuredly persecution. Are you up to it?
The Way: On Trial
John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 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. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Most people spend their entire life without ever stepping into a courtroom. For that matter, most people spend their entire life with a kind of ‘healthy’ fear of going to jail or even being convicted of something which could put them in jail. This, in turn, helps them to stay along a legal path, the so-called ‘safe’ path that keeps them out of trouble, and ultimately out of jail.
There was once some research conducted on two men, who, as children, lived next door to each other. This childhood was over 100 hundred years ago, and, the research that was conducted simply followed their lives, their choices of lifestyles and outcomes, and their children’s choices, and their children’s children’s choices. Again, it was simple research, but the results were very revealing. The one child got saved around ten or twelve years old and the other didn’t. The one child that got saved went to all the Church functions, Sunday Schools, Christmas plays, etc., while the other did not.
Both men made an impact on their descendants. One chose the road to Christ, the other man, ‘a good man,’ chose the way to destruction. Nothing big or dramatic came out of either of the men’s lives other than their attitude toward life and choosing God over this world.
What was different about these two men was their descendants. The man, who got saved as a child, grew up with Christ by His side and the wisdom of the Spirit providing the answers and correct choices that he needed to make. His descendants were Missionaries, Pastors, Councilmen, Doctors, Lawyers, and lots of average people, too.
What about the man without Christ? Well, his line was a little different. His descendants were mostly average people, and mostly non-Christian. Some were on welfare or receiving money from the government in one form or another. Some were small-time burglars, and some were in trouble with the law for various other small crimes, and there were some average people, too.
When we choose to follow the path to Jerusalem…what a difference in life Christ can make!
Jesus took the path to Jerusalem. Everything about His life was geared toward Jerusalem and the work that lay before Him there. Nothing was done that did not implicate the saving grace of God available through the pending work of the cross. But, first, He was going to have to go the way of the cross, first.
The way of the cross is difficult. Jesus said, (Matthew 16:24) "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
But, it is well worth it. What is its worth? It is worth your very soul, (Matthew 16:25) “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
The way of the cross, the way to Jerusalem for Jesus did include His divine birth, His Ministries and His Teachings, but it is concluding with:
These same things are included for the followers of Christ as well. Each one of these points holds a parallel to our life in Christ today. How? Well, to begin with, you and I put Jesus on the path to Jerusalem. Then, we (that is, our sinful state) crucified Christ. It wasn’t just the Jews, or the Pharisees, or Pilate, or the Centurion that put Jesus on that cross. It was you and me as well. So, you see we, that is mankind, betrayed, arrested, and persecuted Jesus!
Additionally, your life in Christ, your conversion, your Christian infancy, your Christian walk, though different from person to person, is roughly similar to Jesus’ betrayal, arrest and persecution. Somewhere in your Christian walk is a connection to this: The Way: On Trial.
We recently read some scripture that mentioned the fellowship that Christ had with the Father before the beginning of the world.
(John 17:5) And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.