Our Only Way Home
Deep in the human heart is the desire for home. Children play house. Millions of Americans travel home for Thanksgiving to be with family. The ultimate purchase is not a jet; it’s a home (those with jets enjoy getting home faster). And when we buy a home, we want to share it with people.
Home represents life, love, and safety. At home, we can be ourselves. We get into comfortable clothes and let down our guard. We enjoy the things we’re most familiar with — our favorite mug, a comfy chair, our bed. Our home is a place of rest.
Or is it? The sad reality for many people is that home represents a place of strife. Children fight with each other over the silliest things. And so do adults. For others, home is a lonely place and is anything but a safe place. In an age of material abundance, many homes are filled with stuff but void of love. Those who should affirm us demean us. The ones who should protect us threaten us, and those who should enjoy our presence avoid us.
If a home is not a place of life, love, and safety, where can we go? To a bar? A gym? Most people bury themselves in work. But even that image hints at the drain of life that often comes from our work. Regardless of how hard we try to make our homes peaceful, the goal is illusive. In their own home, countless people feel alienated.
The reason the church exists is because of the Gospel. And the Gospel explains why we want the life, love, and safety of home but can’t have it. However, it also shows us how we can get it.
In the biblical account, the human race was created for a relationship with God, our creator. But we turned away from God, and in doing so, we turned away from our source of life, love, and safety. Without God and His presence’s security, we became self-protective; without His love, we became self-loving; without His life, we experience death. Human dysfunction in every sphere — political, social, economic, domestic — is the result of life without God, what the Bible calls sin. The biblical Gospel is the way to find our way back to God, our true home.
The biblical Gospel teaches us that the way back to God is not through self-effort. Doing good, however, we define it, is not the way to find God. Doing religious things, whatever the faith, is not the way to find God.
Without God and His presence’s security, we became self-protective; without His love, we became self-loving; without His life, we experience death
According to the biblical Gospel, the way to find God is through a person, Jesus Christ. Jesus is our way home. The Bible tells us that Jesus left His place, His home, at the Father’s side to come into our planet on a rescue mission. God sent Him to show us the way back home. But when He came, He didn’t come in power; He came in weakness. He came to die because only by His death could the power of death that had spread over all creation be overcome. When the human race rejected God, sin and death entered the world. That sin and death could only be conquered when the Son of God, who never rejected God, died to undo our actions.
Jesus was always faithful to God, never deserving death. Jesus never sinned against God, but on the cross, He took on the sin of the world, the sin of the human race, to pay the penalty for sin and bring us back home, back to God.
The apostle Peter says it this way, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
This is the Gospel. Jesus suffered on the cross for our sins that he might bring us to God. He lost God. He lost home for us. But because His death was the death of the one righteous person who never turned away from God, His death conquered death itself.
So, on the third day after His death, Jesus came back to life. His resurrection demonstrates that His death did the job. Now His life is indestructible. He will never die again. He went back home, back to the Father, and He now calls everyone to come to God through Him.
Because He is life, having defeated death, He offers us true life, eternal life. Because He sacrificed Himself for us, He is love, true love, and He can offer us truly self-giving love. And, of course, because death can’t touch Him, we are safe in Him. So, the reason our quest for life, love, and safety — our quest for home — is so misleading is because only through Christ can we come home. Christ suffered once for sins to bring us to God. This is the good news of the Gospel.
How will you respond to the gift of Jesus? The appropriate response is to realize you have been living without God, for self, and that the consequence of such a lifestyle is death. Then, you must turn to God and trust that only through Jesus can you find peace with God and be made new. Finally, you are not alone. The church exists so that together those who have come home to God through Jesus may worship God in community and truth. At Woodside, we are delighted to help you grow in your understanding of Jesus and the life, love, and safety found in Him alone.