A Quick Look
Until Jesus’ death and resurrection, there was a continual need for animal sacrifice in order to seek God’s forgiveness for the continual sin. This required a priesthood to be established and kept so that there were always people who could stand between God and the people, representing God to the people and the people to God. Eventually, Jesus was able to provide a permanent way, by his death and resurrection to eternal life, by which believers could be saved with a single sacrifice (of Jesus’ life) rather than a continual lifetime of animal sacrifices.
Heb. 7: 22 … Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.
24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Where the original covenant was made between God and the Jews, the better covenant in Jesus was made for all men and women everywhere who want to believe and be saved.
A Personal Analysis
Just before his death, Jesus said to his close disciples “I am the way, the truth and the life”. In this statement he encapsulates what he is about to do for them, and for all believers past, present and future to that statement. If salvation from death is what we would like, then we need to look to Jesus, as he is the way to it. He lived a sinless life, resisting all the temptations life threw at him, just so that, in his love for men and women, he could choose to give his life so that we might have a hope of life, rather than the death we deserve because of sin.
Make this personal: The only man ever to live and not be worthy of death gave his life for me, so that I too might be freed from death, if I believe in him. There are no exceptions – every man or woman can believe and be saved. It does not depend on the path we have previously trodden, on the mistakes and wrong things we have done, on the mistakes and wrong things we will do in the future, but on the love that God has shown by giving his only son to die for our sins. Now that is something.
Jesus is the way. Can we each find a place in our hearts that Jesus can fill? For all those who do, he has promised to be there with you, not just for this short lifetime, but forever.
More Detailed Bible Teaching
Jesus knew that he was the one through whom all of the prophecies about salvation from death and about the establishment of divine rule would be fulfilled. God knew in advance – even before creation – about how it would all pan out. He had Jesus in His sights even then (and you and me too). We cannot know the eternal mind of God (though we will one day if we allow Him to transform us in this life and then raise us to eternal life at Jesus’ return).
Jesus said the words of verse 6 below to Thomas, during a discourse with the eleven disciples after Judas had gone to the authorities to betray him for money:
John 14: 4 "And where I go you know, and the way you know."
5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
The reason Jesus could say ‘I am the way’ was because he understood his part in God’s purpose. He had such a close relationship with God, being his Father, that he had confidence that he was doing God’s will and creating for all of us a way – a way of salvation – on behalf of God. He was providing for all of mankind an opportunity to accept God’s great gift of eternal life, given to us by grace.
The way is not about our effort, our striving to do well that we might be rewarded, our personal show of strength and force, but it is about Jesus and the example he set of humility and sheer dedication to his response to his Father’s love. We too, like him, can show our response to God’s love for us, and indeed, why would we not want to? Jesus has set the ultimate example which we all know we will fail to reach, but our salvation, fortunately, doesn’t depend on that – it depends on God’s great forgiveness and love towards us, which Jesus, in his life, demonstrated. Here are some relevant Bible passages:
John 10:9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture."
Acts 4:10 "let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.
11 "This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’
12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Rom. 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Heb. 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Heb. 10:19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
1Pet. 1: 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.