Summary: Christmas messages usually come with a lot of expectations. There are certain scriptures people expect to hear, certain narratives, mixed with a little pop culture references to help keep things relative.
(10) And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. (11) And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. (12) And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Let’s be just honest here this was a garbage year. I believe that yes God is working through this pandemic, that we stand at the threshold of something awesome, but that doesn’t mean that I still can’t call this year and the things I have dealt with and dealing with just garbage.
Today I plan to be very simple and encouraging. I am not a Pastor; I am just a minister of the Gospel and today I just felt God prompting me to just give you and I a simple reminder of the gift that God gave us through His son. I am not saying anyone doesn’t know or doesn’t appreciate the gift that we have but in moments like these where we might feel like we are feeling our way through darkness, you are moving but you can’t see anything. I just want to remind you and myself that there is light still in the darkness.
I. When we need to reach something that is higher than us, we use a ladder, same principle applies when I need to reach something that is lower or need to climb down into a hole; I need to use a ladder. A ladder is no good if it can’t reach the top or the bottom. There is no reason to use a ladder if all it’s going to do is get you stuck in the middle.
A. Have you ever asked yourself, how high is heaven above the earth? How great is the distance that separates man from God, and sin from the most High? If we could extend a ladder to heaven, how long would that ladder have to be to get us into heaven? How high is the distance between heaven and earth that separates man from God?
1. It was a ladder that Jacob saw in his dream, a ladder from heaven to earth. That ladder would not be something that would be built with man’s hands. It was not a revised attempt on Jacob’s part to complete what his ancestors attempted to build in the land of Shinar. This was no Led Zeppelin song this stairway to heaven was none other than Jesus Christ! Jesus, that which joins heaven to earth, and God to man.
2. It can only work if the ladder touches both ends, the highest height with the lowest depth. So the Most High had to descend to the most low of depths so that those in the lowest depths could ascend to the highest heights. The Most Heavenly had to become earthly so that those who were earthly could become heavenly.
a. The Most Holy had to join Himself to the most unholy, the Holy One joined to the lowest of sins, the Most Sacred to the most profane ...So Christ the ladder, the one that would join earth to heaven would descend to the bottom of Jacob’s ladder to the deepest depths of darkness, to the lowest rung of degradation and judgment.
B. At the bottom of that ladder Christ would find a world full of people whose “heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: A world where Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble, a world where sin abounded. Where men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:
1. A world that changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator:
2. Such is in the world; we are a broken and damaged people. I don’t think I have ever heard someone say that they would rather leave where they are to live in a dump. Even the Jefferson’s said Well, we're moving on up. People want to go up; not down. The penthouses aren’t on the ground floor, that’s reserved for parking and dumpsters, the penthouse sits way up top.
3. I read in a Christmas card the poem, He came from a mansion to manager, from the streets of gold to a stable cold, from royal robes to swaddling clothes, from His Father’s world to a Jewish girl, from the angels’ praise to the shepherds’ gaze, from that city afar to a wise man’s star, from perfection to rejection, from the throne room of God to the stable’s sod, from all that’s good and pure and holy to all that’s base and vile and lowly.