We live in a world of consumerism. Choices bombard us. I choose my favorite burger joint. I choose my favorite icecream. I choose my car, bank, church, wife, job, president, house, and toilet paper. We have so many choices that it can become paralyzing. I remember a few months ago I drove to HEB to buy a bottle of wine. I spent two hours, overwhelmed by hundreds of rows of equally good options. Finally at the brink of utter exhaustion, I chose a bottle at random. We have become habituated to endless possible good options.
But then we hear the preacher preach the Scripture, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).”
WHAT? How is it that I can’t choose my own way to eternal life and find my own path to God? The idea of only one way offends us. Maybe it offends you? I know it has offended me.
What about the Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad or “just being a good person?” Aren’t these all equally valid ways I can choose to know God?
Here’s the deal. We are importing our consumerism into a realm where it does not belong. Before God, we are not sovereign individuals choosing our favorite brand of smartphone. The Bible describes our plight as a much different situation.
Our world and our hearts have been engulfed in the flames of sin. Your heart is a house burning to the ground. Your fire alarms have malfunctioned so that you’ve not been alerted to escape in time. You are passed out on the floor of your bedroom, choked half-to-death by the plumes of black smoke. A firefighter, uniquely trained and capable, kicks in your front door and begins to search for you room by room. He finally finds you. Putting his own life on the line, he takes you into his powerful arms and carries you to safety.
In this situation, the questions is not, “Why is there only one way?” The question becomes, “How was there any way?” Jesus is the only way, not because he just happens to be the favorite flavor of a billion people across the globe, but because he is the only one who, by being the perfect lamb of God, is uniquely equipped and capable to enter into our sin and death and drag us into the safety and shelter of God’s presence.
When we see this, we can’t help but sing, “Blessed be the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Father Kurt is the Pastor of Light of Christ Anglican Church in Georgetown, TX