At the beginning of the book of Ruth, we’re introduced to three widows: Ruth, Orpah, and their mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi bids her daughters-in-law to go and find new husbands. Orpah does, “But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.’ ” (Ruth 1:16) Ruth swore an oath that she would stay with Naomi. Ruth didn’t choose to stay because of a legal requirement, but because of her love for her mother-in-law and for her God. She showed trust that Naomi would not lead her to destruction and that God would keep them both in His loving-kindness. Ruth went with Naomi and found another husband, Boaz, and Ruth and Boaz were the great-grandparents of King David.
As we turn our hearts to Christ’s passion in the season of Lent, we see a Savior Who also chose to stay with His people because of love. He put on flesh and blood for each one of us. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. . . . Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:14-15, 17-18)
Though He was tempted, Christ did not follow our lead into committing any sins. Instead, He suffered and died for each and every one of our sins. When Peter preached on Pentecost, he referred to Jesus as the One “whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:36) The “you” applies just as much to each reader and hearer of the Word today as it did to those assembled in Jerusalem. The fault of Christ’s crucifixion lies on each sinner. Our actions directly led to our Savior’s death.
Thankfully, Jesus takes the lead in our lives. Having fulfilled the Law perfectly and paid for the sins of the world, He now says to His people, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:1-4)
In Christ, we have a leader Who will never mislead us. We may stray from the path, but Christ’s sacrifice preserves us and guarantees us a place with our Savior in heaven. Let us say to our Savior with perfect confidence, “Where You go, Jesus, I go.”
Ross Kok is a teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran School in Phoenix, Arizona.