The Road Home

Isaiah 35:8-10 “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads, Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

We are all on a journey home. A room is reserved there already. A place has been set at the table. Jesus is holding our spot. But we aren’t there yet.

There is only one way there. Isaiah calls it “the Way of Holiness.” Don’t misunderstand the title. The holiness doesn’t come from us. Christ made this way, and he made it holy, when he came the first time. His cleansing blood spilled down from the cross erasing sins and washing souls and giving the whole world a bath in the forgiving grace of God. Those on the highway are the people who make this their holiness, this their way home. They are the people who have traded their sin for Christ’s holiness by faith. They are no longer trying to find their way by their own tainted works. They have given up on trying to pay their own way. That is why Isaiah can say that the unclean and wicked fools won’t be making any trips on this road.

The road, the way, ends in more joy than we could ever have imagined, more than we might even believe is possible: “No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads, Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” That is much more than optimism, idealism, good possibilities. That is God’s good promise. He offers more than the prospect of good things to come in spite of the bad things and the sad things today. These things will be: no dangers, no obstacles, only the Lord’s redeemed, making their way home.

This way home, the Way of Holiness, the road to Zion ends in songs, and gladness, and joy unspoiled by today’s sorrow or sighs. It brings us all the way to the realization, the fulfillment. Longing is replaced by living. Hoping is replaced by having. Christ coming has become Christ here.

But today, we wait. And we believe. And we are confident, because we know that he will come.

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