This verse has been eating a lot of people up over the years:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The cry is “Hey, that’s way too exclusive, all religions lead to God, just in different ways, to say Jesus is the only way is arrogant and exclusive.”
The passage takes on a whole different flavour when you turn it on its head. Instead of “No one comes to the Father except through me.” think of it as reading “Everyone can come to the Father through me”.
Now, the statement is the ultimate expression of inclusivity, it is an invitation to the whole world, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Bhuddist, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic etc. etc.
Jesus is saying “I don’t care who you are, my invitation is for you, because what I have done is something nobody else in the history of the world has or could ever do.”
Peter (amongst other writers) emphasises this viewpoint in his second letter:
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
God is the God of all people and in Christ, he provides a way to Him.
In his death, Christ achieved an inhuman feat – that of living and dying without committing sin. For that reason, he could not have been kept dead, that would not have been fair of God, as by God’s own rules, if you haven’t sinned, you are not deserving of death: “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
Christ won that ‘victory’ over sin (and death) so that by believing in him, we might share in that same reward – eternal life.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Part of ‘sharing in his suffering’ is in believing in Christ and what he has done, and sharing bread and wine as symbols of his body and blood in celebration of his resurrection. The other part(s) of ‘sharing in his suffering’ will have to wait for another time.
1 Peter 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
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