Did Yeshua change “the way” of salvation? FFOZ
Yeshua told his disciples, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). The implications of those claims beg consideration. Was He suggesting that the mechanism of salvation, eternal life, and communion with the LORD had changed (or was about to change)? Did He mean that, although devout men and women of faith (like the heroes of the Old Testament) had previously accessed the Father by means of faith in God and honest piety, henceforth, only Christians could have hope of entering eternal life and fellowship with the Father? Did “the way” of salvation change?
On the contrary, if what Yeshua said is true, then it must have always been true. No one comes to the Father except through Him, and no one ever came to the Father except through Him. Even men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David entered into communion with the Almighty and their eternal reward only through Yeshua. That does not mean that God imparted to those men an exclusive and secret revelation about placing their faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Yeshua of Nazareth. Nevertheless, the Son of God always was and is the gate of the righteous through which men enter into fellowship with God and receive the gift of eternal life.
In the synoptic gospels, Yeshua said something similar: “No one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him" (Matthew 11:27, Luke 10:22). This sounds similar to the prologue to the Gospel of John which depicts the pre-incarnate person of Yeshua as the Logos of the infinite God intersecting with finite creation:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (John 1:1-3)
Yeshua of Nazareth can be considered the only way to the Father because He is the Divine Wisdom that was present from the beginning of creation. Within Yeshua manifests the Divine Logos—the “Word” of the transcendent and unknowable God. Therefore, he is “the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” (John 1:9). All of man's aspiration to reach God are inspired by that light. “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men” (John 1:4).
As F. F. Bruce states it, “Understood in the light of the prologue to the gospel, [the claim of John 14:6] is inclusive, not exclusive. All truth is God’s truth, as all life is God’s life; but God’s truth and God’s life are incarnate in Jesus.”