Summary: Jesus bulit the bridge for us to cross into the Kingdom of Heaven
My topic tonight is about bridges. How many of you crossed a bridge on the way here?? Many of us cross bridges everyday and never give it much thought.
Webster’s defines a bridge in several different ways but I am using the definition of “A structure built over a river, etc., to provide a way across. A thing that provides connection, contact, etc.”
A bridge can be very simple in design consisting of nothing more than a plank spanning a ditch … a tree felled across a stream or creek. The first bridges were probably built like this. I myself have built a few of these bridges. In Canton where I grew up strip mining was the way of removing coal. Dig a big, deep hole in the ground and haul the coal out in huge trucks. This left behind nice clear deep lakes loaded with fish. In one particular area there were three lakes very close together that my friends and I would fish in. We would park our trucks and walk about ½ mile through a cornfield on a regular basis. There was only one slight problem – we had to jump across a creek about 10 feet wide. Sounds pretty easy right … well let me tell you from experience that the water is about waist deep and usually cold. We needed a bridge so we selected a tree ….. Cut it so it would fall the right way and we had a bridge. Crude but effective.
Next came larger wooden bridges and covered bridges able to handle wagons and the first cars. Some of these covered bridges still stand as a reminder today. Many people flock to Indiana in the fall for the covered bridge festival held there each year.
As transportation progressed everything got larger, and heavier. Bridges had to evolve to meet the demand. Newer, stronger materials were used. Steel and concrete replaced wood. Engineers pushed the limits finding ways to span wider and wider distances. This brings us to the bridges of today.
When I think of big, modern bridges I think of the Golden Gate in San Francisco. It is the 2nd longest bridge suspension bridge in the world. Only the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York harbor is longer. The Golden Gate is 1 ½ miles long, and took 4 years to build and was finished in 1937. The 2 steel strands used are over 80,000 miles long… enough to encircle the equator 3 times, and each will support 200 million pounds. The towers are over 746 feet high – the tallest in the world and contain enough concrete to construct a 5-foot wide sidewalk from New York City to San Francisco. To withstand the currents, tides, winds reaching 100 miles per hour it has a built in sway of 27 feet.
Imagine what people thought in 1869 when Joshua Norton proposed that this bridge be built. They called him crazy, a lunatic. It wasn’t until Feb. 1933 Joseph B. Strauss came up with a design that would work and the construction was started.
You are probably sitting there wondering about now why is he standing here talking about the Golden Gate bridge. Well for all its strength, engineering, and beauty it is not the greatest bridge ever built. No far from it.
Not 3 feet from any one of you is a very powerful bridge. Some of you even carried a bridge in here with you today. What could it be you ask … it’s the Bible. Yes the Bible is a powerful bridge. It allows us to connect with God through the teaching of his Son Jesus Christ. It provides a way to cross over from this world, this life in to the Kingdom of God. Each and every chapter is a plank, a support beam, a brick. Each strengthening and supporting the other.
Remember Joshua Norton the man who came up with the idea of the Golden Gate Bridge did so in 1869 but it was not until 70 years later that it became a reality. People thought he was insane and mocked him.
Lets turn back the clock a few thousand years to the time of John the Baptist. Some people thought he was crazy running around in the desert of Judea preaching the gospel. You see John was a bridge builder. Dressed as Matthew and Mark tell us “John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, eating locust and wild honey – not exactly someone you would trust to build a bridge would you? The man was dressed in animal skins and ate bugs. On top of that me preached about the coming of the messiah. Did people think he was crazy??? You bet they did. Did people mock him?? You know they did. Did this stop John?? You know it did not!! Why because John was a bridge builder.