Like most seniors, I often think of what lies ahead of me. One thing lying ahead of me is a heavenly home. According to Jessie Pounds’ well-known hymn, “The Way of the Cross Leads Home,” there is only one way for me to reach that heavenly home:
I must needs go home by the way of the cross,
There’s no other way but this;
I shall ne’er get sight of the Gates of Light,
If the way of the cross I miss.
In the next stanza of the hymn, the songwriter describes going “the way of the cross’ as going “the path that the Saviour trod.” What was “the path that the Saviour trod”? The apostle Paul described it thus in his letter to the Christians in Philippi:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not grasp equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death–
even death on a cross!
(Philippians 2:6-8, NIV)
Although Jesus Christ, the Saviour, was and continues to be God by nature, he emptied himself of his existence in a manner equal to God and took on the nature of a servant. Then, as a man, he humbled himself even to death on a cross. Paul encouraged his readers to follow Christ’s example of humility in their relationships with others (2:1-5).
Paul went on to say that the result of Christ’s self-humiliation was that he was exalted by God the Father so that all intelligent beings would recognize his lordship:
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11, NIV)
My prayer at this Easter is that I should be enabled by the Holy Spirit to follow “the way of the cross” all the way to Christ’s heavenly home, where I shall see him in his glory (John 17:24) and reign with him forever (Revelation 22:5).
– Although I don’t bring it out in the post, I believe that the only way to enter the heavenly home is to put one’s trust in the one who died on the cross, Christ Jesus.
– Although I regularly use the English Standard Version (ESV) when quoting the Bible in my posts, in this post I used the New International Version (NIV) because of its putting Philippians 2:6-11 in poetic form.