Summary: Jacob saw a stairway (ladder) to heaven. What was that dream all about? What, or who is the ladder leading to heaven? This sermon is based on a lesson by Patrick Mead of Rochester Hills, MI.
NOTE: This lesson is based upon a sermon I heard Patrick Mead preach. Patrick preaches in Rochester Hills, MI.
Stairway To Heaven
A. Have you ever seen the Indiana Jones movies? I just watched the “making of” each of those movies and decided I wanted to watch them all over again. If you have ever seen them or anything like them you know the story line.
B. Our hero has stepped somewhere he should not have stepped, and the natives are restless. In fact, they start the chase. You know this. He runs through the jungle, panting, you hear them chasing him. You know what happens next. He comes up to the edge of a cliff. A small stone fall over the cliff so you see it is a deep cliff. He spots a bridge. This is a problem bridge. It is made out of old fraying rope. He doesn’t go right on it, but tests it a little. Looking down over the great chasm he has to determine if he will take the risk. As he gets to the point of no return, the bridge breaks and he almost falls.
C. We often see this happening spiritually. Here we are as people and we are horrible rotten sinners. Then on this side is God who is holy, righteous and wonderful. How do we get the two together? Often it seem like the only way is through this old fraying rope bridge and you just know that someone on that bridge is going to fall. Therefore, it is a perilous journey.
D. Some people see that picture in their mind’s eye and they panic, fearing that they will never be “good enough” to cross the bridge or climb the ladder to God. Others just quit. They know they are going to fail so they might as well enjoy this life if all they are going to do is burn for the next one. That brings me to Jacob.
I. The Story of Jacob
A. Jacob was a con-man all his life. If I were to ask you to name a fact about Jacob, most people who know his story would say that he tricked his brother. Gen. 25:27-34
B. Then comes the blessing. Isaac was old and blind. He wants venison. While Esau is out hunting, Jacob and his mother trick Isaac into thinking Jacob is Esau and Isaac gives the blessing to Jacob. Now read Gen. 27:41-44. Doesn’t this sound like the guy who did something he should have and was on the run from the natives?
C. Gen. 28:10-22. 3000 years before Led Zeplin, God has a stairway to heaven. Now jump with me to John 1:43-51. That statement to Nathaniel did something that caused him to see Jesus in a whole new light. This was not, “I saw you sleeping under a tree.” Something happened that tree that Nathaniel thought no one saw, but Jesus said, “I saw you under the tree” and Nathaniel says “you are the Son of God, the King of Israel (Messiah).” Now look at verse 51.
D. Understand something. The stairway to heaven is not some rope bridge that will fall a part on you as strive to get to God. It is not a vine bridge or a ladder that is old and rickety. The stairway to heaven is Jesus himself. Jesus was that stairway to heaven. Like Jesus was the rock in desert in the days of Moses, Jesus was the stairway to heaven in the days of Jacob. The only way between man and God is Jesus and he is not the picture we often think when we read the Genesis passage. Jesus has one foot in humanity and one in deity. He is a great stairway because he brings together both God and man.
E. Paul says to Timothy that there is One God and One mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. The role of the mediator is to bring two parties together as one. That is Jesus.
F. How good is a stairway that leads no where? How good is a bridge that does not connect to the other side? Whether you see Jesus as the stairway or not, there is something I believe you will agree with, the point of the stairway to heaven is communication.
II. The Great Communicator
A. I will contend that Jesus is the great communicator. That the message he brings from God to man is like the message God delivered to Jacob, “I am God, the earth will be blessed through the offspring, and I will not leave you.” God chose Jacob over Esau. Was Jacob a cheat and liar? Yes, but God chose him. Don’t like it, read Rom. 9 and see that God is God and He can do as he desires. But the point of the stairway was to bring the message to Jacob.