Isaiah 35:8-10 (NIV): And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
When Jesus died and rose from the dead, it opened a way, the Highway of Holiness, to any who are willing to enter it through the atonement purchased by Jesus. No longer is real genuine holiness reserved for a special few – the way is now opened for all! And this is no mere positional holiness, people somehow being declared holy in relation to Jesus while still held in the bonds of sin. It is real holiness, with all on the way freed not only from sin’s penalty, but from its power as well.
The way of holiness is a way of safety, with no lion or other ferocious beast on it. This, of course, symbolizes the fact that the devil and his demons cannot be found on the Holy Way – he has no power over those who have been made clean, and who choose to walk in the way of God. No wicked person can walk the Holy Highway, but only those who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
The Highway of Holiness leads right into Zion, the New Jerusalem, the spiritual city where God’s people live, where life in God’s kingdom is a day-to-day reality. They live in joy and gladness here and now, with all sorrow and sighing gone, because they live continually in God’s presence.
It is sad that so many of God’s people have been taught that they must wait until heaven to walk in the Highway of Holiness and to live in the New Jerusalem. Because they have been led to believe that, they miss out on the current, real-world reality of God’s holiness operating unfettered in their lives, melting them, and molding them into the very image of Jesus.
Father, thank You for the reality of Your love and Your holiness operating in the lives of Your people – a reality that reaches all the way to me! Help me to walk today and every day in the Highway of Holiness, and to experience the New Jerusalem as a here-and-now reality. Amen.