Last Sunday, Bill and I attended Rush Creek Bible church in Byron Center, MI where our son attends. The pastor, John Spooner spoke on the topic, “Is Jesus the Only Way?” At one point, he gave an illustration that clearly spoke to me. He talked about how, some time ago, as he was taking a girls volleyball team to Ohio, they stopped at a gas station to fill the van’s tank. Upon getting out of the van, he couldn’t help but notice a lady at one of the other pumps cursing and swearing with every breath. She had the pump handle in her hand and was trying to jam it into her gas tank. Bam, bam, bam, she rammed the diesel hose against her gas tank in her effort to force it in.
Graciously, Pastor John approached her asking, “May I help you?”
“I don’t know what I can do to get this hose into the tank,” she responded with great frustration and more expletives.
Quickly noting what the problem was, he gently answered, “I don’t think that pump is the right one for your car. There are different pumps for different cars and the one you have is the wrong one.”
“Well, which one works for my car?” she asked with a puzzled look on her face.
His obvious answer, “You have to use the one that says gas.” He helped her put the correct hose in her tank. This time it fit and filled right up.
By using this simple illustration, Pastor John compared it to religion. There are many religions in the world and they all have this in common, “Religion tries to force something into the tank of life that simply doesn’t fit,” he said. “The more you force it, the more you try, the angrier you get, the more frustrated and upset you get because religion doesn’t fit. Jesus knew that. He came to earth to be the One who does fit. He became sin so that we might fit in the heart of God. Jesus said, “No one gets to the Father,” (no one fits) “except by Me.”
I love that illustration. So often people try, try, try by their own work, their own effort to fit into heaven. It’s like trying to force the diesel pump into the gas tank. It just doesn’t work. Just as the gas pump fits a car perfectly, so Jesus is the perfect fit for our salvation. He is the only One who fits. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)