Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
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.
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:5-10 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:1-7 ESV
In ancient times the promised land had three major highways that ran through it. These highways were very important for trade with other countries, and connected the people of Israel and Judah with Egypt, the Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor. One of these routes was called the Way of the Sea, and it ran along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The second road was called the Ridge Route. It went along the tops of mountains farther inland, and it included Jerusalem. The third was was called the King’s Highway. It was even farther inland and it ran through a valley. These three roads were very important to God’s people in their land. It allowed them to trade and communicate with other nations, but when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah became weaker, these important highways made their land something other kingdoms wanted to conquer and control.
The prophet Isaiah talked about another highway, one called the Way of Holiness. He talked about a time when people who were blind would be able to see, people who were deaf would be able to hear, people who couldn’t talk would sing, and people who couldn’t walk would leap like deer. The desert land that their highways sometimes ran though would have pools and springs of water, and dangerous animals like lions wouldn’t threaten people who walked the road. Their enemies who wanted to conquer their land wouldn’t hurt them, because the road would only be for God’s people. They would no longer be sad, but instead would return to Jerusalem and Mt. Zion with happiness and singing.
When Jesus came, he made the words of Isaiah come true. He made blind people see and deaf people hear and lame people walk. But the most important thing Jesus did was to open the Way of Holiness to everyone who would believe in him. When we walk on the Way of Holiness, our enemies–sin and death and the devil–can’t hurt us, because God is always with us to protect us. We follow the Way of Holiness home to our Heavenly Father with singing and with joy. Jesus is our Way of Holiness. He took all our sins on himself when he died on the cross, and because of what he did for us our sins are forgiven. Through his forgiveness, we are able to come to God and to be his people, now and always. Jesus is the only way to the Heavenly Father, and he sends us his Holy Spirit to help us follow him every day, now and always.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be our way back to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.