I often hear people talking about their “journey.” In most circles it can be a seemingly non-judgmental and appropriate way to talk about the things we are learning without coming across as pushy or preachy. It also can feel very authentic and unique to have a perspective that is different and growing/changing.
Jesus Christ understands what its like to have a journey too. In the incarnation, the eternal Son of God became forever a human, to experience life with us. Jesus not only had his own journey as a specific human in his own body and personality, the Bible tells us that Jesus experiences our specific journeys with us. (Gal. 1:16, Col. 1:27) Jesus dignifies our life with the recognition that we matter, that our choices have real consequence, and that we can make real discoveries about life. He honors our journey so much that He’s joined us in every part of it!
However, most people in our life and time are stopping short of an even greater discovery…His journey! The journey of Jesus Christ is powerful! It’s extremely relevant! His life changes everything! In fact Jesus said some amazing and often misunderstood words that can speak to this topic quite clearly, with such liberty! “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father, except through Me!” (John 14:6)
Wait!!! Before you write off that Bible verse as something you have heard a thousand times, check this out! My own journey was radically transformed by this reality, by His reality…when I gave up on my own journey!!!
I believe that so much of the coming of Jesus into this world was to give us another reference besides just the confusion that humans have found themselves in. He recognizes the beauty and glory of humanity, oh yes, even to the point of joining with us forever! At the same time, He has wanted us to join Him forever. He wants us to join in His journey! And, that can mean something very specific, beyond just flowery words and nice Christian anecdotes.
Paul said something like this in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus meant the end of Paul’s own journey! This is a huge revelation and major life style shift! God in Christ recognized that we are still beautiful and powerful, yet at the same time we as humans have gotten very, very confused. We needed an end to the illusions that we had created. And, in Christ God did even more than that. God gave us an eternal reference point, and an eternal arrival at completion! In Christ, God brought us to the ultimate finish line!
When we feel his love over us, expressed in Jesus, we can also give up all our journeys to get anything more, to find the secrets of the universe, to overcome the problems of the world. In Him, we find all these things and more!
Now, often this sounds WAY to good to be true. But, the scriptures testify that in Him are all the riches of wisdom and knowledge! (Col. 2:3) In Him is all healing and redemption and restoration! Jesus is the Way!
There is so much that we may still be discovering in Him, and that may unfold in time. Yet, to look to our own personal journey for healing, wisdom, growth, or anything we may think that we lack is to get back on the treadmill of self reliance, which only perpetuates illusion! This is the mystery of the finished work! We already have it all in Christ, who is in us. The illusion of our old self which relies on it’s own journey for growth and progress is dead! We do live in time and are just seeing things unfold as we become aware of the riches that we have in Him, yet that’s just it. It’s all in Him! And, really it doesn’t even have to take time to see that.
For me personally, my emotions became so much more steady when I became aware of His emotions in me! My practical life began to work so much better when I stopped trying to figure it out, and responded to His life inside me. As Christ became the eternal reference point for my identity, insecurities faded away. Beyond this, I’ve seen numerous supernatural healings and miracles manifest in response to His life. As He is seen as all in all in my life, all the symptoms of the old me began to disappear. In fact, a totally new heavenly kind of existence began to take over my life. I didn’t feel as if the old me was devalued or resented, but God offered me a better life, his own life. On earth as it is in heaven has become my experience. I could go on and on!
Now, I’m not saying that we need to avoid having our own specific experiences. We are each a unique part of the body of God. We each get to have a wonderfully unique life. Yet, making our personal experience the focus results in continued confusion and illusion. Without an objective anchor into true reality, we build illusions. When looking at Jesus, both within and without, in the present and in history, as all in all, letting His words and being define us, here we find true liberty!
It can seem contradictory to the mind, but herein lies life and liberty: the journey is the obstacle! Jesus Christ is the Way! Jesus is the journey! In Him you’ve already arrived at all the things you ever could’ve wanted or even dared to dream!
There is so much more to unpack here. I encourage you to make it a point of extended meditation, Jesus as the Way! I dare you to consider, contrary to popular culture, the joy of giving up your own personal journey for the ecstasy of arrival in Him!
– Matt Spinks