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Our Weekly Devotional

Only One Way

Monday, April 14, 2014 • • General
One of the biggest questions we get asked is "How do you know there is only one way back to God?" That question was answered in a quiet exchange in a garden in Gethsemane many years ago.

Read: Luke 22:39-52

Key Passage: ‚??Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.‚?Ě An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.  

     In the early days of my faith journey, I found myself saying goodbye to someone I loved. For as long as I‚??d known them, they‚??d never once made a profession of faith in Jesus, nor had they darkened the doors of   a church.  I was certain this was my last chance to ‚??save‚?Ě them, and I fumbled through it horribly.  The response to my effort was anything but what I expected.  Instead of saying ‚??yes‚?Ě to Jesus as this loved one faced eternity, he spent the time explaining why he couldn‚??t.  Though he knew what I said about Jesus was true, he had not lived the kind of life that would make him worthy, and it wasn‚??t right for him to accept salvation now.  It was ‚??too late‚?Ě he said.

In a separate intimate conversation that took place over two thousand years ago, Jesus spoke to His heavenly Father in as candid a fashion as we ever see in Scripture.  Tired and alone, His body and mind taxed very nearly to its‚?? limit, Jesus asked God if there wasn‚??t some other way to accomplish this process of redemption.  As we read the Biblical record of these moments, it feels like anxiety and fear and loneliness were all combining in one last effort to crush the will of the Savior to accomplish His purpose.  And who could blame Him?  Not only was He facing a terrible physical ordeal and a torturous emotional trauma, all but defeating His fully human character; He was also facing an abominable attack on His fully divine nature, causing ‚??He who knew no sin‚?Ě to be completely engulfed‚??permeated‚??as it were, in the sins of every human being.  This dual assault on His human and divine natures would constitute the single most painful ordeal in the history of Creation‚??and for what?  To be roundly mocked and dismissed by hundreds in that coming week, and thousands in the coming days, and millions more as history repeatedly demonstrated our human willingness to rebel against and outright reject the Life He would purchase for us in what He did in the days after this Garden crisis of His soul.  

Adding insult to injury, He found His closest disciples asleep, completely unaware of how deeply distressed He was; failing even then to see what suffering He had already entered.

Then, just as quickly as Scripture records this moment of crisis, it shows Him moving past it.  Having asked the Father to ‚??find another way‚?Ě; and not having heard a response, Jesus stepped forward to make salvation happen.  The rest of that historic period in His life is a story of incredible courage, immeasurable compassion, and ultimate victory as Jesus laid down His life so a path from humanity to eternity would be opened anew.

On that night, when the Father heard His Son plead with Him for another way, both of them knew there would be no answer forthcoming because both of them knew this was why Jesus became human in the first place.  We can be certain of this: If the loving Father and His courageous Son could find no other way to open heaven‚??s gates to us, then there is no other way.

   ‚?¶it would be years before I recognized that the words of my family member on his death bed were not a rejection of Jesus, but in fact was among the purest expressions of belief in Christ I may have ever heard.  Jesus didn‚??t die so we could clean ourselves up and present ourselves as worthy: He died so those who are not worthy would be made worthy by Him.  If you know Him, then you know the meaning life and promise of eternity.  If you don‚??t know Him, please ask: For in a garden long ago, God‚??s silence made it clear only one path carries us back to Him. 

--Randy Kilgore

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