The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say. (J.R.R. Tolkien)
After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was nearby, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, placed it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed.” Bowing his head, he gave up his life. (John 19:28-30; context)
The end is far off, and the end is also very near, for walking on this road with us is the best of all traveling companions, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus is the end of our journey in the sense that he is the reason we are journeying. He is, in a sense, the goal, the conclusion, the culmination of our journey.
Right before he died, Jesus called out from cross, “It is completed.” What was completed? You could answer this question in all sorts of ways, and scholars and theologians have, let me tell you. One way you could answer it is this: When Jesus called out, “It is completed,” he was proclaiming that he finished the road that he was working on, the path that leads all of us back to the God who created everything.
Of course, earlier in the Gospel according to John, Jesus also said, “I am the way.” So not only did Jesus complete the path; he is the path. Christ is the end of our journey and our partner on it. This means the end is always moving with us. If we can find Christ on our journey then it is ended. Not ended in the sense of finished, but ended in the sense of “completed.”
I know it sounds like I just said the same thing twice and told you it was different, so I understand if you are confused. Here’s an example. When I met the woman I ended up marrying, my journey was not at an end, although it felt like perhaps I was beginning to travel down a new path. Rather, I felt a sense of completion that encouraged me to keep going – now with a partner by my side. Likewise, when I find Christ I am encouraged to keep struggling, to keep striving, all the while knowing that I am by Christ’s side…
Dear God, you sent your son Jesus Christ to show us the way to you. Help me to walk with him on the way that he paved to you, and along that road, let me discover the person into whom you are making me. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, rejoicing that you walk with me on the road, you stand at the end of the road, and you, indeed, are the road.