Highway to Zion
1. What is this highway to Zion?
It is a path to Zion. Where is Zion? What is Zion?
Psalm 132:13-14 (ESV) For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: 14 “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
God’s dwelling place is at Zion and He desires it for His habitation.
(i) A highway is a lofty way, a higher ground
It speaks of a path that is above other grounds. In Hebrew, it is “mesilah” which means a highway or a course. A course has a beginning and an end. This highway is speaking of a path with a beginning and an end. Therefore this path has a purpose. The highway word comes from a verb that means to build a higher ground. The bible speaks of it in a spiritual way, where those who are following the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ and those who follow the Lamb all the way wherever He leads, the path they take is the higher way, the higher ground. It is a highway because it is going up higher and higher, all the way up to the kingdom of heaven.
(ii) This highway is referred to in the bible as the ancient path and the good way
Jeremiah 18:15. God said through Jeremiah that they have stumbled from their ways, which was supposed to be the ancient paths, the good way, which is the highway. Rather they have taken bypaths.
Which path am I on today? Am I on the bypath? Are we burning incense to worthless gods today? Cain’s lineage had an abrupt end where they were no more. Whereas the path of God’s people was paved by the covenant of God and it had an end. Proverbs 16:17. God says: Those who trust in Me will be on this path.
How do we walk this path and get on this highway?
Jeremiah 6:16. The bible tells us to see and ask for the ancient paths where the good way is, this sounds very familiar to Deuteronomy 32:7, the main passage for the History of Redemption Series.
Jeremiah speaks about the ancient path. Deuteronomy speaks of ancient days and times. We have learnt which elders and fathers to ask, these are the forefathers of faith, from Adam all the way till now, even past Jesus’ time to apostle Paul’s time. Those who find the ancient paths and walk in them, will find peace, true peace. These are the paths that our forefathers paved through their faith and obedience. Let us think about some of these cases:
Abraham was told by God to leave. God said to leave your father’s household, leave your country, leave your relatives. Go towards Canaan. There was no path but in obedience and faith, Abraham went and God made the way.
Going up to Moriah, Isaac saw no path, no purpose of going up there, yet he went up in obedience, God made the way ultimately.
God told Jacob to go to Laban’s house and return to his father’s house but Esau was there. No way for Jacob to want to return, but God made the way for the heart of Esau to open up.
God told Moses to go through the Red Sea, God made the path open up where there was no way before.
Same for Joshua, God told him to lead the people to Jordan River. God told Joshua to walk around Jericho, it was not a tourist attraction going around Jericho but God said to go and walk around Jericho.
In obedience they went and God made the way that was never walked by people before. Let us ask ourselves: Which path is God telling us to walk in year 2022. Are we ready?
But as we see, God says to see and ask for the path. These forefathers trusted and He made the way that opened up redemption, the way for the promise of the covenant to be fulfilled.
Isaiah 43:16-19. He will make a way.
(iii) The way of holiness and salvation
Isaiah 35:8-10. It is a highway that will lead us to holiness. According to Ephesians 5:26 it speaks of the Word of God that is like water that washes us clean. Through Jesus’ mediation, through His intercessory prayers, He carries us into the Holy of Holies where the presence of our Father is, where we can receive that eternal life that Adam lost in the Garden of Eden. John 14:6-9.
Earlier Jeremiah said to see and ask. Jesus came to show us. Jesus says: I am the way, the highway. Come through Me, to come to the Father.
2. Where is Zion? What is Zion? Who is Zion?
We are Zion Church. Not only the name, may spiritually God recognise us as Zion. Zion is a mountain in Jerusalem upon which the temple stands. That is why it is also called the Temple Mount.
Psalm 132:13-14. God said that is His dwelling place forever.
Psalm 125:1. It is not just a location or place. It is referring to PEOPLE as Mount Zion. You are Mount Zion. Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion.
What is Mount Zion?
(i) It is the place where remnants and saints of God, in the end, will end up on, with the Lamb
In Revelation 14:1-2, 144,000 are standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb who is Jesus Christ.
In Revelation 15:1-2 we see a different description. Do you see the parallel? Those who have overcome the test, overcome the beast and the tribulation are standing on Mount Zion in Revelation 14, and standing on the sea of glass around the throne of God in Revelation 15. The parallel leads us to conclude that the 2 chapters are speaking of the same people. Therefore Mount Zion is also compared to the sea of glass.
In Matthew 14 and John 6, we see a story of Jesus walking on the sea. But when Peter walked and looked away to see the waves and the wind, he sank into the water. In Revelation 15, people were standing on the sea of glass just as Jesus did, not agitated or shaken by the winds and waves of this world. Those standing on the sea of glass have really overcome. Seas in the bible represent people and nations. The sea of glass is speaking of pure and clean people and nations, centred around the heavenly throne. Revelation 4:6-8
(ii) Spiritual state of the true saint
What is interesting is that Mount Zion in Revelation 14 and the sea of glass in Revelation 15, is referring to the state of faith of the saints. They have overcome and finally arrived. Not on their own but with the Lamb. The bible speaks of the end times and also things shaking us up in our life of faith.
Those who follow and continue to follow Jesus even at the risk of persecutions and hardships are those who stay on the highway, these will stand on Mount Zion the holy ground, they will stand on the sea of glass.
(iii) Symbolises heaven
In the end, this Mount Zion represents and symbolizes heaven. It is not necessarily a physical location, not just in Israel. But Zion refers to the realm governed by God. The kingdom of God. If you are governed by God today, you are Zion.
The highway to Zion is a type of Jesus. The way of redemption is this highway. May we not be shaken up by the things of the world, news of this world. Let us stand steadfast in the Lord.