The way. Such a simple phrase it hardly even seems worth mentioning; and yet this understanding of Christ and of the role that he plays in our Christian life is absolutely paramount to the relationship that we have with Him. In fact, this description of Christ was so important to the early church that they started out calling themselves not Christians but “Followers of the Way”.
So, what can we learn from this description of Christ? What is He trying to teach us by describing Himself this way? Certainly there is the obvious realization that Christ is the one and only road that will lead us to our salvation in God, but is there more to his being the way. Is it also a description of the protection and peace that Christ offers?
So what does “The Way” offer us?
1. The Way Offers Salvation To The Lost.
Imagine, if you will, that you are lost in a dense dark forest. There are dangers all around you and many predators just waiting to devour you in the dark. How happy would you be to find a path, and with it direction and the way of escape?! This is the situation in which we as people find ourselves. We are lost in a dark world full of sin and pain with the enemy just waiting to devour our very soul (1 Peter 5:8). It is into this situation that God came and provided the way of escape!
2. The Way Offers Safety To The Traveler.
People for almost all of time have sought out and used established paths. This is because they offer travelers the knowledge that others have come before them. Rather than just trudging through the darkness and fearing the forest, travelers can be certain of a direction. Also, a traveler can be certain that if he runs into trouble there will be another who can find him to help. We as “Followers of the Way” can likewise be certain that on this path we follow, Christ has gone before and others will be there to pick us up!
3. The Way Offers Rest To The Weary.
The ultimate goal of any traveler is the destination and the completion of his journey. It is the knowledge that there is a season of rest waiting for him at the other end that can keep him going even when the road gets tough. It is the same for us in our Christian walk! We are traveling our whole lives doing our duty for our savior and what keeps us going more than anything is the knowledge that in the end we will get to sit and worship the One who has provided for us. (Phil 1:21-23)
Christ knew that the Christian life would be full of dangers and pitfalls. That is why He used this description of the way, so that we as people could realize that even while we are on our journey he will guide us to our rest. He used this description so that when we wonder how we were going to make it through this life we will know His response: I Am the Way!