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5 MAY 2016

JESUS BUILT A BRIDGE

Today’s devotional includes one from about a year ago. When I woke with this song on my heart, I knew it was a one I’d had before, so I looked back and found it. It didn’t warrant changing, but I added the opening paragraph. I enjoyed re-reading it; I hope you do, too!

Do you ever think about Jesus as a Carpenter? Do you, like me, wonder why he never used examples from carpentry to illustrate His parables? After all, for the thirty years before He began His active ministry, He trained and worked as a carpenter with His earthly father. Perhaps He, like many young people, only worked beside Joseph out of respect for His parents, to honor them, despite knowing that He was destined for something greater. Oftentimes, young people follow the path others have for them rather than using their gifts and talents to chase their own dreams. Usually, the end result is a dream deferred and frustration until they can finally step out, with courage, in their own direction. But why did Jesus wait so long before following His mission; was it because He loved carpentry? We know that He was well aware of the reason for His time on earth from the early age of 12! “And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. …And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:41-42 & 49 NKJV). Perhaps Jesus mission was deferred until Joseph died, at which time, Jesus could take on the true mission for which He came to earth – building the bridge to span the chasm between humanity and heaven. 

What comes to mind when you think of bridges? When I was a child, one of the things I enjoyed the most was our Sunday visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. To get to their home, we had to drive over a long bridge that we call ‘the Trestle’. It extends 2 1/2 miles between our town and an area we called ‘the country’, only because it was less populated, and had the occasional farm with cows or horses. The trestle was first built over rough, swampy ground between two waterways, the river and a slough carrying water parallel to the river. Following a trail created by wagons which traveled from the country into the city for supplies, wooden planks were laid side by side, but seasonal rain caused flooding and made it impassable so it was built above the ground to match the crossings over the river and slough that separated our town from the country. By the time we drove it, the bridge had become a more stable structure with concrete and iron supports, and felt quite safe, although it was a narrow, two lane, two-directional bridge. And occasionally my father would take a side road that carried us across a real wooden bridge where only one car outdoor cross at a time, and it frightened me and some of my siblings; the noisy bumping of each board as we crossed made me think it was on the verge of collapse. It sounded as if the planks were not nailed down! But we still needed the trestle to get to our destination and have our visit with the grandparents. Grandma always had coffee and tea ready for the adults, and sweet, cinnamon cookies, shaped like windmills, for both children and adults to enjoy. Grandpa lived to share stories of the Old Country, the Netherlands, and he lived reading and encouraging reading. Sundays in the country were special!

When I think of our relationship with Jesus, I envision a similar scenario.   

When Adam and Eve sinned, the most vital connection between humanity and heaven was broken! The bridge to our Heavenly Father was destroyed because “…Good and evil do not belong together. Light and darkness cannot share the same room.” (2 Corinthians 6:14 ERV), and sin made all of humanity evil! Our natural supply chain of blessings and love was disrupted and had to be rebuilt, this time with indestructible materials, more concrete substance! Jesus provides a new, indestructible bridge between earth and heaven. “But the gate that opens the way to true life is very small. And the road to true life is very hard. Only a few people find that road.” (Matthew 7:14 ICB). His death, burial, and resurrection claims victory, provides a Bridge over the swampy mess of sin. Only through the sacrifice of one perfect Person, could the phenomenal price be paid to rebuild the bridge between that God-humanity gap. And even when we take a side road, going off the path God designed for us, we can reach our destination in safety provided we return to the One who makes that connection possible, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Imagine the fine time we reach that heavenly home – the wedding feast, the reunion with loved ones, the stories we will hear! Eternity with the One who loved us enough to die in our place. Now that will be special!

  
Today, my prayer is, if you have not taken Jesus as Lord of your life, if you haven’t asked Him to be your Bridge to heaven, that you will do so now. Jesus is coming soon and each of us needs to be ready for that day! “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12. KJV). My heart song is a more modern song performed by Poet’s Voices, which explains the cost of rebuilding that bridge between us and the Father:

“One day they nailed a carpenter to a rugged tree, 

Thinking He would never build again.

There they held Him through His hands and feet, 

Still He carried out a master plan.

Jesus built a bridge to heaven,

So that I could have a way up to Him.

Jesus built a bridge the only way He could. 

With only three nails and three pieces of wood, 

With one rugged cross, Jesus built a bridge.

The Father looked from heaven to the world below,

And it seemed there was no way to claim His own.

So to the world God’s Son, the master builder, had to go, 

To make a way to bring God’s children home.

Jesus built a bridge to heaven,

So that I could have a way up to Him.

Jesus built a bridge the only way He could. 

With only three nails and three pieces of wood, 

With one rugged cross, Jesus built a bridge.”

“But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.” (Psalm 73:28 KJV). Have a blessed day!

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