“Then He said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the Angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.’”
“Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.””
Genesis 28:10-15 NIV
Jacob ran. He had deceived and stolen from his brother. His father, Isaac, had bestowed on him all of his brother’s blessings and birthright. Jacob knew Esau would be furious. He couldn’t face Esau. His father requested he go to his uncle’s home; Jacob saw his way out of this predicament and he took it. He left behind all that was familiar just so he could escape the consequences of his actions. His brother would be a cauldron of smoldering fury because Jacob had supplanted his birthright as the first-born, and Jacob wasn’t about to stick around for that outburst. He packed lightly and set out to find a wife that would please his parents. They weren’t fond of the local Canaanite women, so he set out on a journey that would honor his father’s wishes. He knew Esau would see it as another maneuvering point to secure Isaac’s blessings, but he would leave all this condemnation and turmoil behind.
Beersheba was in his rear view mirror. He headed toward Haran. As the sun was setting Jacob stopped for the night. He found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. That night as he slept he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. The Angels of God went up and down the stairway. In his dream, Jacob looked and at the top of the stairway stood the LORD, the God of Abraham and the God of his father Isaac. God promised Jacob that this land he was sleeping on belonged to him. God promised this land would belong to all of Jacob’s descendants which would be as numerous as the dust of the earth. In this dream, God told Jacob, “I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
Jacob had gone to sleep that night with his thoughts swirling in fear and condemnation from all the ways he had deceived his father and cheated his brother. He fell asleep knowing he had messed up, but he woke up knowing the Lord’s blessings and mercies.
Centuries later Jesus our Savior told his new friends and disciples, “You will all see heaven open and the Angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”
Jesus was the Ladder in Joseph’s dream. He was the one who was connecting heaven and earth. He was the one who connected Jacob’s conflicting heart to the ONE who would bring peace and completeness to his troubled soul.
Isn’t that still who Jesus is in our lives. He is the one who connects us to God. That is why he came. We mess up. We deceive. We cheat. We lie. We manipulate, but Jesus is always there ready to connect us to the God who forgives us and offers us mercy. Just as God promised Jacob that He would not leave him until He had given Jacob everything He had promised; God promises the same blessing and mercy upon us through Jesus Christ, His Son and our ladder to heaven.
Jacob started his relationship with God while his life was in chaos. Isn’t that how we often start our relationship with God. Our lives are a swirling mass of muck and junk. There is no feeling of peace or completeness. Each of us have a deep longing in our soul for contentment. That is just what Jesus does. He becomes our stairway our ladder to peace with God. Jesus is the only One who can bridge that chasm and connect us back to the One who created us. Only in God can we find true stability for our lives.
Jesus is the stairway to our Peace.