Big Idea: In the Son of God we find the bridge between Heaven and Earth.
One of the most frustrating experiences I have while driving in cities is the ability to see where I want to be, without an easy way of getting there. With most of the highways in Houston under perpetual construction, sometimes it seems like it is just impossible to get from point A to point B. It is there, tantalizing but untouchable. In a sense, worshiping God ought to be like that. We can look at the heavens, the mountains, or the oceans and see God’s power. God’s skill and wisdom are displayed in the delicate balance of the laws of physics, the patter of a hummingbird’s wings, or the complexity of the trillions of cells that make up our bodies. On our own, we could see that there was someone to worship, but could never actually get there.
We know who God is, not because of the might of our brains, but because He has come down and revealed Himself to us. He gave us the Law and the Prophets to tell us about who He was, what His expectations were and what He does. To begin to bridge the gap, He gave Moses plans for the tabernacle, where each element served as a shallow shadow of the spiritual realities.
When my kids play, a PVC pipe can be a horse, a sock can become a baby, or (horrifyingly) the changing table in a public bathroom can become a fort. They just need something which suggests what they want to play with and their imagination connects the dots. The types of the Old Testament are something like that. They were not the fullness of what would come but an outline of the salient features, to whet the appetites of humanity for what would come later.
Jesus goes beyond the pictures of the Old Testament and, as the God-Man who came down to Earth, staggers both Earth and Heaven. He is the bridge that gives humanity access to God. He is Jacob’s Ladder: the place where Heaven and Earth collide. In the Holy of Holies, Jews believed that Heaven came down and touched the Earth. But Jesus claimed that these were all shadows of the true place God would come to dwell: Him. He, as our great High Priest, gives us access to the real Heaven. We can really know and worship the God that otherwise we could never touch. In Jesus, God reaches down to us, and, in Jesus, we are given the pathway to God.
Discussion Idea: Why do we need a bridge to connect us to God? What are some of the things that keep us from accessing Him directly?
Prayer Focus: Pray that God would help us to see the permanent, spiritual reality that He gives us access to, and to realize that those unseen things are eternal, while the visible and material things are temporary.