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Jesus and the Search for "The Way"

Death Cab for Cutie has never shied away from writing songs about God, meaning, and death. Their latest album, Asphalt Meadows has an honest song called “Here to Forever.”

Ben Gibbard writes:

I want to know the measure

From here to forever

And I wanna feel the pressure

of God or whatever

Now it seems more than ever

There’s no hands on the levers

And I wanna feel the pressure

Of God or whatever

Gibbard wrestles with the tension between the desire to know God and the frustration of living in a dangerous and chaotic world.

I think many wrestle with this same tension. The Scriptures teach that there is a God, but that sin has hidden God from our eyes. Isaiah 59:2 (ESV) says:

“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

One of the consequences of the Fall is the hiddenness of God. It is not that God is not present or is hiding, but that the mist of the curse obscures our vision so that we don’t see God for who He is. John tells us:

“No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.” (John 1:18 ESV)

One of the key messages of the Gospel of John is that God, previously hidden and obscured by sin’s curse, has now been revealed in his fullness in the person of Jesus. “Whoever has seen me,” says Jesus, “has seen the Father.” (John 14:9 ESV)

In John 14:6 (ESV), Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Putting Jesus’s words into my own, I would paraphrase the verse: “Jesus is the true way that leads to life.”

In other words, if you are looking for God, the only place you will find him is in Jesus. He is the true way that leads to life.

The first thing we see about this claim is that Jesus is a “way.” The “way” to God is not just a creed or confession, it’s a person and a way of life. The Old Testament teaches that wisdom is the way to life. For instance, Proverbs 3:21–23 (ESV) says:

“My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.”

Wisdom is the path to life, and Jesus is that wisdom of God.

This is a picture from the top of Maiden Peak near Sequim. We don’t catch glimpses of the majesty of creation like this every day. We have to be willing to travel along the way. Even as we are travelling, we don’t always have visions like this—most of the hike is forgettable. The hike isn’t full of vistas, but you don’t get the vistas unless you set out on the way.

The same is true of God. I don’t always catch clear glimpses of God in my everyday life. But I don’t get any apart from Jesus. It’s only by setting out on the way—by following him where he calls—that I see God. He is the true way to life.

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