Jacob’s Ladder

Word received during worship Sunday, May 1, 2016; thoughts on the meaning of Communion

During worship today, I thought of the story of Jacob’s Ladder, how Jacob in a dream saw a ladder to heaven and heard the Lord call down His promise of blessing. Jacob responded with worship, rejoicing at the profound miracle he had experienced, that the Lord his God would meet with him! He awoke from his dream and cried out, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:16-17)

Oh! That I would respond to the Lord’s presence with the same holy fear and joy! In Christ, we are blessed with the presence of God, a blessing that is no less profound and awesome and miraculous as Jacob’s dream.

The Lord our God, the Almighty, the Lord exalted and glorified, whose Word created the universe, Whose ways are not our ways, the Lord high and lifted up, has been brought near to us, nearer than near to us, by the blood of Christ.

The Son of God, one with the Father, Whose name is above every name, emptied Himself of all that He was, to become one of us, to be for us what we could not be ourselves, a bridge between worlds, reversing the fall of Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). He became sin for us so that we would be holy and blameless before the Father (Romans 8:3-4, Ephesians 1:3-4).

Having been made sin for us, after three days He rose from the dead, returning to His Father, leaving death defeated, trumped by everlasting life (Ephesians 4:8-10, Romans 8:11).

This is the ladder of Jacob (Genesis 28:10-17), the storm that allowed Job to hear Him and and see Him (Job 38:1, Job 42:1-5, compare Job 37:23), the cloud of fire and smoke that led Israel to the promised land (Exodus 13:21-22), the opening of heaven when Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-8). The ladder, the storm, the cloud of fire, the opening of heaven, all types of the cross of the crucified Son of Man,  the emptied Son of God, the cross planted in the earth, splitting the sky, rending the veil to the Holy of Holies (Matthew 27:33-55).

The cross, the bridge between life and death, the ladder to heaven, makes us one with the Father and the Son and with each other (John 17:22-26).

Whenever we who belong to Him, who have been saved through Him, come together to eat His flesh and drink His blood, we remember (Luke 22:14-20).

I cry out to you, Lord! Keep me from ever finding Your presence, Your imminence, less than the miracle that it is. Every time I hear Your voice or feel Your touch, every answer You give to prayer, every blessing You give, is an awesome, fearsome miracle made possible by Christ and Christ alone. Keep me from taking Your love and Your faithfulness for granted. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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