Did you know that you can drive from San Francisco all the way to New York on one road? Interstate Highway 80 runs all the way from one city to the other, and the distance is a whopping 2,903 miles. Google estimated it would take 44 hours of driving to complete the trip (with the usual traffic ). The journey would take you through California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.
Our congregation began a journey of its own, as we began working through the Gospel according to Luke on December 2, 2018. One of the dominant themes that runs through Luke is the journey that Jesus makes. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a suburb of Jerusalem, and He was brought to the temple in Jerusalem when he was just an infant. Throughout the Gospel, there are clues that point to the return of Jesus to Jerusalem as an adult. In Luke 9:51, we read that “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”
As we continue our journey through Luke in April, we will see Jesus enter Jerusalem to greetings of praise and joy in chapter 19. But the main purpose of the journey of Jesus, his main destination, was the cross and the empty tomb. Jesus came to Jerusalem to die for the sins of the world. His journey was no vacation. He had not come to see the sights of Judea, but to die for the people of Judea and of the world.
And He had come to rise from the dead. His resurrection was one of the final goals of His journey, so that He could defeat the power of death on our behalf.
He calls us to follow Him on that journey. So during April, please continue to read through the Gospel according to Luke. Follow Him as He enters Jerusalem, as He confronts hypocritical leaders and answers challenging questions. Listen to Him teach His disciples as they share a last meal together. Ponder the gravity of our sin, as you hear the account of His death. And rejoice in His resurrection, knowing that all was accomplished for you!
You see, Jesus is calling you to literally and actually follow Him. He is asking you to live as He did, in faithful obedience to the Father, trusting in your God to lead and protect you. And some day, when your death draws near, Jesus will lead you to follow Him into eternity, where His resurrection victory will be clear for all to see.
Let’s walk together and follow Jesus.