2020-4-09 We Know the Way (Maundy Thursday Service)

Cornerstone EPC                                                                              Thursday evening
Franklin, NC 28734                                                                          April 9, 2020

“We Know the Way”
John 14:5-7

We arrive tonight at Maundy Thursday 2020.  In this night, we recall the night in which our Lord was betrayed.  We recall the Passover feast, forever transformed, in the upper room where Jesus announced Himself, in effect, the Passover lamb.  On that night Judas went out to betray Jesus Christ—and, at the time of tonight’s text, already has gone.  Jesus, before going out with His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane, teaches His disciples (then and now) much (in John 13:1-16:33, plus prayer, John 17:1-26).  We look at a portion of that teaching each year at this time; let’s now look at tonight’s portion together.

(HERE READ THE TEXT)

In the passage immediately before tonight’s text, Jesus asserts that His disciples know the way (in John 14:4) both to where He is going and to where He prepares a place for them—and for us.  Thomas then reveals that he does not know when he asks, “Lord, we do not know where You are going.  How can we know the way?”  Jesus, in His answer, instructs Thomas—and us—profoundly.

Jesus declares, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”  When Jesus says, “I am,” he utters the sixth of His seven self-descriptive I am metaphors.[1]  He also asserts His divinity by saying I am—just as God did before Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).  Jesus, God incarnate is the way, the truth, and the life.  Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

When Jesus assures us that He is the way, He lets us know several things.  The way is the path we tread to the Father.  The way also is the journey to eternity with Him and with the Father.  The way also includes the doctrines and practices conformed to Jesus.  Jesus is all of these, and more.  He is also the truth.  God’s written Word is truth (John 17:17), and the written Word bears witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word (John 1:14).  Hence, Jesus, in addition to being the way, also is the truth.  He also is the life.  Scripture declares that in Jesus is life (John 1:4)—and, consequently, whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:12).

It is apparently from the foregoing that Jesus, God incarnate, is the way—the only way—to the Father.  No one comes to the Father, except through Jesus Christ—no matter how many in our culture may rail to the contrary.  Yet, knowing Jesus, we know the Father as well.  Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), and the Apostle Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, testifies that all of God’s fullness dwells in Christ (Colossians 1:19).  Hence, knowing Jesus is knowing the Father—and, from now on, knowing Jesus, we know the Father.

Therefore, beloved ones, we who are in Christ know where we are going, because we know the way.  We also know where we are going because we know Him Who is the Way.  This is assured because Jesus trod the way that led to the Cross, into the tomb, and out of the tomb into life forevermore.  Let us remember these truths this night, and always.

AMEN.

[1] The other six I am sayingS are “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the gate for the sheep” (John 10:7), “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11), “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), and “I am the true vine” (John 15:1).