It was one of the highlights of our first visit to Japan. It was a fabled sushi restaurant, visited by royalty from throughout the world and lauded by top chefs as the most elegant and lofty example of this favorite Japanese delicacy. Although we knew it was nearly impossible to get a reservation at the 10-seat counter, we endeavored to take a photograph in front of the restaurant, but first, we had to find it. We obediently followed the directions that our guidebook provided. We circled the same address several times. We were at the correct location but we did not believe we were there. Using my broken Japanese, I asked several of the locals if this was the location of the famous restaurant. They nodded and pointed in the same direction. Even more confused, I shook my head as we revisited the same address. This time, however, an almost hidden door on the side opened and a man, dressed as a chef, stepped outside. Could this be the restaurant? To our delight, we had found it. It was the most inconspicuous facade, tucked away in a corner of an underground subway station in a major city in Japan. There were no signs directing the searching public, no banners or photographs parading the award-winning chef. It was just a white cloth with black Japanese characters hanging over a plain Japanese rice paper screen door. We followed the directions and passed by the destination several times without realizing we had arrived at our destination.
…The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
Galatians 3:24-25 (NLT)
From the beginning of their existence, the Jewish nation has been waiting for their Savior. The irony and tragic truth is their Savior did appear, nearly two thousand years ago. Jesus Christ fulfilled all of the prophecies that were written by their own Kings, priests, and prophets. Yet, like the directions in my guidebook, the prophecies were meant to lead them to their Savior but could not take them to their final destination. All of their laws could not give them righteousness. The laws were meant to lead them to their Savior. Only He could give them righteousness.
My spiritual journey to Jesus Christ was no different. God revealed Himself to me through many different experiences. I attended a Christian high school, took many religion classes, and played in the orchestra for numerous Christmas and Easter pageants. These were all directions and signposts to lead me to know my Creator but it was my stubborn reliance upon my own will that ignored these directions. God finally sent a dear brother who directly witnessed to me and led me to understand who God is.
All of the signs and directions led me to Jesus Christ but it was only by faith that I reached my final destination by confessing and repenting of my sins and accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Praise God for His grace and mercy!
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.