A Highway shall be there, and a road and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others, Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. Isaiah 35:8 NKJV
The oppressive sun was relentless as it beat down upon the barren landscape, and the sky was it’s co-conspirator with not even a wisp of cloud to soften the harsh rays. A lizard took shelter in the shadows of a rock where the lizard took refuge from the blistering sun, yet there was no shade wide enough for the weary traveller. The cracks that grew deep on his face matched those of the parched soil that was baked hard from the seemingly never ceasing sun. It had been far too long since the rains mercifully soaked the desolate terrain, thus denying all who ventured across the desert of the streams of life. Desperately the parched voice of the traveller cried out for mercy from the relentless sun. “Where are the streams that crossed this once fertile plain. I’m dying out here as my soul like this once bountiful land is now completely dried up.” The only water to be found was the tears that streaked across his weather-beaten face.
As the traveller cried out in his desperation, suddenly he was bathed in a wonderfully radiant light. Although the traveller had no idea what the light or its source was, he mysteriously found himself drawn to its beautiful light. As he drew closer to the light, he began to see a figure yet still indiscernible within the dazzling brightness. As he drew closer yet, he could make out the figure, it’s that of a cross. The traveller curiously yet tentatively approached the cross. To his wonder, at the foot of the cross, he saw a door and above the door he saw a sign. Taking a moment to adjust his eyes to the bright light he saw an inscription that read, “Enter only he who is broken and cleansed by the blood.” Stooping low in order to enter, the traveller couldn’t make it through, for the pack that he carried, was far too heavy and large to make it through the small doorway.
He tried many times over to enter through the door, but to no avail, for he was not yet broken, nor had he yet known the taste of the cleansing blood. The traveller once again gazed upward to the sign, but the sign was no longer there but had been replaced by a man nailed to the cross. His eyes were drawn to the hands and the feet of the man. They were bleeding and were pierced as they were held firm to the cross by large ugly nails. As he looked closer, he saw that face of love now beaten beyond recognition that was bleeding profusely from the awful crown of thorns that he wore upon his head. The traveller was overcome with grief as he witnessed the brokenness of the One who said, “not My will be done, but Yours be done,” as he drank the bitter cup of sinful sorrows to its dregs. The traveller looked back upon the blood soaked face of the Saviour and then to his own pack that he carried upon his back far too long now. As he looked back to the face of the Saviour, it was at that moment that he knew that it was his own pack that nailed the Saviour to the cross. Falling to his knees he removed the burdensome pack from his weary shoulders. Grateful to finally remove the pack, he laid it at the foot of the cross.
As he laid the heavy pack down, the traveller was startled by the sound of the doorway of brokenness opening to him. Although open, the way was narrow, so the traveller had to get down on his knee’s to pass through the doorway. Once on the other side, the traveller took a moment to gain his bearings. As he adjusted himself to his new surroundings, he looked around and saw a highway stretched out before him. It meandered upwards to greater heights that the traveller had ever known. The banks of the highway were shrouded in darkness, obscuring the many twisted nettles and sharp boulders strewn along the banks of the highway, but the highway itself was bathed in a glorious light as it traversed upwards towards to the heavenly places.
Behind him, the traveller could see his pack, now being fought over by the imps of the darkness for the worthless objects the traveller once deemed to be of immense value. As the traveller looks upward, he no longer saw Jesus stretched across the cruel cross, instead he now walks before him on the highway, overflowing with resurrection life. As the once weary traveller now restored by the power of the resurrection life drew closer to the Saviour, he saw that within his hands, he carried a pitcher. Seeing the traveller, He ran to him and asked him to hold out his heart to the Him. Just as if he was holding out a cup, the traveller held his empty heart out to Jesus. As Jesus looked inside the traveller became uncomfortable, wanting to hide as Jesus looked deep within, it was a painful scrutiny as his heart was laid bare before the sinless Saviour. To his relief, Jesus didn’t look at him with rejection but instead with complete love and acceptance as his heart had been cleansed by the life-giving blood. Jesus then took His pitcher and filled the travellers heart to overflowing with the new wine. With the power of the new wine and the triumphant Saviour before him, the traveller began his journey now with great rejoicing as he celebrated the freedom he now received without cost. When the traveller looked away from Jesus, he saw once again the imps from the realms of darkness holding out to him many temptations and accusations of the past. The traveller tried to ignore the imps and their offers as he walked upwards, but since his eyes were now no longer on Jesus but gazing into the darkness, he stumbled and fell into the nettles and the sharp boulders causing great pain and unnecessary suffering. He cried out to Jesus. Jesus, please rescue me. Jesus, with His strong hands, pulled him back onto the highway and he once again found himself at the foot of the cross. He found himself unable to continue along the highway as he was now snared to the edges of the highway by the sharp nettles. Crying to himself he knew that he was trapped by the snares of self-pity and condemnation. Again he looked at his former pack that lay beside him. He knew to pick it up again would mean death and darkness. He then heard the words of his Saviour call out to him, “there is therefore now no condemnation in Me. Follow Me.” The traveller took his pack and once again laid it at the foot of the cross.
Immediately he found himself on the highway of Holiness. This time, he saw that there were others on the highway as well. As they travelled together in unity the journey was a joy, for together they were able to encourage one another along the way. However, that joy was soon overshadowed with bitterness as the traveller looked at his fellow travellers with eyes of judgement. He wondered why some of his fellow travellers were on the highway as well. He tried to reason with others who would listen, questioning why these so called followers, shared the highway with them. Thinking himself to be far superior to the others, he lost sight of their Saviour and walked off the highway into utter darkness. He soon realised that he couldn’t see where he was going, as the darkness of his own pride surrounded him blocking his way. He tried with all his might to get back on the highway but the climb was too high and his strength was too weak for the task. Others on the highway reached down to him to help him back up, but he was too stubborn to accept their help, after all he needed no one, for in his estimation, they only got in his way. Defeated by his own pride, he sat down in the filth of his sins. It wasn’t too long before the pain of loneliness began to overwhelm him. Surrounded by the filth of his own creation, he once again cried out to Jesus to rescue him. To his dismay, the Saviour didn’t come. Instead, his former travellers called out, encouraging him to come back with them. They reached out to him, but the gap was too wide. It wasn’t until the traveller looked around and saw that his pride would continue to hold him down unless he rejected pride and accepted the offer of help from his fellow travellers. As he stood up, the former gap was broken as his heart was once again broken. Easily the hands of his fellow travellers reached his own and soon, with their help, he found himself at the foot of the cross.
This time, he was sure that his sin was far too great to rejoin Jesus and his fellow travellers. As he gave up all hope, he knew he had nothing to offer. To his astonishment, the doorway of brokenness swung open to him again. He again crawled onto the highway, but he was far too weary to take another step. This journey thus far had taken every last bit of strength. His body beaten by his own guilt, he called out with his last bit of strength, “Lord it was at Your cross that I first found life, but now I am weak and near death. I want to follow You, but I have nothing left to go any further.” Exhausted, the traveller collapsed to the highway. As he silently lay on the highway, a beam of light entered his weary body. The light carried in it life and the sweet renewal of fellowship with his Lord and friends. Jesus came to him once again with the offer of new wine. The traveller took the cup and drank deeply refreshing his weary soul. Jesus, filled with compassion, looked down to the traveller and offered his hand. This time without reservation, the traveller took His hand in his own and allowed himself to be lifted to his feet. Jesus embraced him and said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, for in Me you will find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”