Jesus knew that he would soon be crucified and was preparing his disciples for the future. He told them he would be going away to prepare a place for them to come to be with him. He said you know the place where I am going.
Thomas said, but we do not know where you are going, Lord. How can we know where to find you. Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’. John 14:6
How was Jesus the Way?
Jesus is the only way to Heaven. He asked the disciples to trust and follow him because he was the shepherd who would lead his lambs to safety. Psalm 23
St Peter repeated what Jesus said and it is recorded in the Book of Acts; ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’ Acts 4:12 NIV.
He said these words as he was being called to account before a court of Jewish elders for spreading the teachings of Christ after his death.
Peter and the Apostles were brought before the Jewish court at another time later for continuing to build the Church. After much discussion, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a law teacher honoured by the Jewish people, said, words to the effect of; many have come before promising to be the Messiah, but have always failed in their endeavours. If you leave the men to their own devices they will fail if God is not behind them. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.’ Acts 5:38-39 NIV
Today the words Peter and the Apostles spoke are accepted as the way by over one quarter of the world’s population, so Peter and the Apostles clearly did not fail in their work.
How was Jesus the Truth?
God set His law out to Isaiah as recorded in the Old Testament. The law stipulated that it would be fulfilled through a Messiah who was yet to come. Jesus fulfilled the law, by coming to earth as the Messiah, which can be read about in the New Testament.
The Messiah was to be a person who would shed his blood for all the world’s sins and die as the innocent lambs that the Israelites used for their sacrifices. No bone in the Messiah’s body would be broken, as the sacrificial lambs had no broken bones – which made them perfect sacrifices to God.
Some like to speculate that Jesus did not really die on the cross. He probably just became unconscious, and his disciples got him away quickly, and he recovered.
But the time of the Passover was fast approaching, and the Jewish priests asked the Roman guards to hasten the deaths of the three being crucified so their bodies could be removed before the Passover began.
The guards broke the legs of the two criminals crucified with Jesus to hasten their death. But Jesus appeared to be already dead, so they pierced his side with a sword to check.
Blood and water came out of his body when they did this, proving that he was dead. Modern medicine tells us that blood and water separate in the body when a person dies, which was probably not known when Jesus died. Also, not breaking a bone in Christs’s body fulfilled the prophecy that not a bone in his body should be broken.
The truth is that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah of the Jewish people and fulfilled the Old Testament law.
How was Jesus the Life?
Jesus was known by his disciples to be the bread of life.
He gave us everything we need to be nourished in this life on earth; His gospel teachings, Holy Communion, the gift of the Holy Spirit, his life on the cross, and ultimately the hope of life eternal for all who believe in him.
In a ritual mirroring the Jewish tradition of sacrificing a lamb for their sins, Jesus allowed himself to be sacrificed on the cross, like an innocent lamb, for the sins of humankind.
As he did this, he became the one and only source of everlasting life for fallen human beings.
When we partake in the Holy Communion the Holy Spirit strengthens and comforts us. It centers our minds on doing what we are able to fulfill our small parts in God’s eternal plans.
What does this mean for us Today?
Jesus is our Staircase to Heaven. He brought Heaven and Earth together again through his death and resurrection.
As Jesus served us, so in turn, we offer ourselves in service and share Christ’s love and kindness with others as we guide them towards the treasures that Jesus offers all who believe in him, including the hope of life eternal.
We follow him in his ‘way’ as we do this. We accept his teachings and sacrifice as the ‘true’ Messiah and live in hope that his ‘life’ will provide us with our own eternal life.