“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
How I have struggled all of my life with these words. Why? Because I did not understand them. Intellectually, I could agree that Christ was worth worshiping, and I was happy to do so. However, on an emotional level, I also had a problem with the idea of “one way. ”
Why not many paths to God? What would the harm be? What about all the good people who do not accept Christ? So year after year I wondered, “Why must we go through Christ?” And I did not keep my angst to myself either. I shouted from the rooftops. “I don’t get it.” But deep down I wanted to “get it.” I wanted so much for it to make sense and to believe it. I wanted to be a Christian in the fullest sense of the word. Everyone I loved believed that Christ was the only way. What was wrong with me?
One day, I was talking with my son Karl about how I did not understand why Christ was the only way, and he said, “Mom, there are two worlds—heaven and earth. They exist together like two dimensions. One world is pure and the other world is contaminated with sin. The worlds must remain separate so that the purity and sin do not mingle. Whether you like it or not, there is only one entrance between these two worlds and it is Christ”
He continued: “We could not even see the entrance if he were not there. It is invisible. To get to the other side, we must pass through him, because in the process we are purified. We must be purified so we will not contaminate the other world that we are about to enter. Part of the cleansing process is to be washed in his blood.” Karl then took his hands and washed his face of imaginary blood that somehow I could see as clearly as anything.
I closed my eyes and I could see what Karl was trying to tell me. I began to imagine that I was standing alone at the edge of a vast desert. I am lonely. I am afraid. I am stained with sin. I have heard of another world—a better world—and I want to go there so badly. Then suddenly Christ appears and tells me that behind him is the place I want to go. “But you must walk through me,” he says with a grave look on his face. “I am the way.” “Trust me,” he says.
In my vision, I take a step toward him and he motions me to stop. “First you must take this basin of blood and wash yourself.” It is the blood of my crucifixion and it will cleanse you of your sins. Only my blood can do this because I am without sin. Come, I am the way.” Suddenly Christ becomes translucent. I realize this is how he must have looked at the Transfiguration on the mountain with Peter, James and John. Then, I wash my face in the basin of blood he gives me and pass through him to the other side. I am ready for the truth and the life.