And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. Isaiah 35:8
For many people the thought of traveling on the highway is not a source of security and hope, but a cause for fear and trembling. However, in Biblical times, there were few roads at all. Everyone was an explorer or trail blazer as they took the path through the hills or along the ravines. For travelers to journey along a road was a source of great comfort. The road meant increased safety from marauders and wild animals. It provided ease of walking rather than through unstable ground of a mere path. And it also meant that your journey had a clear destination, rather than a vague idea of what might lie at the end of the path.
Repeatedly in Isaiah we read about a great highway. In chapter 11, the highway is the route back for the remnant, those who had lived as exiles. Just as God had led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he would preserve His remnant and one day He will lead them along His highway. We find reference to the highway also in chapter 40, describing the preparatory work of John the Baptist. This highway is to be free from all the obstacles and roadblocks that stand in the way of Israel and Yahweh. There are eight references in all, which point to this path which leads from the people to their God.
This highway will not be like the rough paths strewn across the mountains and countryside of Judea. This highway will have a sure and certain destination. Those who travel on it will do so in safety. And not just anyone will travel on this highway, but the holy ones, the chosen people of God. This highway will not be a place of accidents and injuries. It will be the means by which God comes to meet His people and the path by which He leads them home. This road marks the path of the new exodus – the captives have been set free and are led home to the promised land.
The promised Messiah would come to lead the people living in captivity along the road the freedom and security. But more than just leading them along the way, Jesus IS the way. He IS the highway, the road from slavery to freedom, from danger and despair to peace and comfort. He is the way from death to life. Do you understand the significance that Jesus is the way? God doesn’t just say, “Walk this way.” He doesn’t just say do these things. He doesn’t just follow the right path and have the endurance to keep going in the journey. No, he did so much more. He sent Christ to lead us in the way, to carry us along the way, and even to be the way. He is the way by which sinners are brought back from bondage. He is the way through which those who were dead in sin are now alive through Him. He is The way and the only way by which God saves his people.
Prayer – Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan