Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:03

The Bridge to God

Written by  Sam Whatley
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In the mid-15th century the armies of the emperor Tupac Inca swept down the western coast of South America conquering tribe after tribe. His empire would rival the Roman Empire in length and size. One of his greatest obstacles was the Apurimac River. This river splits two mountain ranges for hundreds of miles. In some places the mountains are four miles high and the gorges are a mile deep.

To conquer this land his armies had to crisscross the mountains and ravines. They needed bridges. But there were no trees for lumber and no metal for girders. At every place he needed a bridge, the emperor had hundreds of villagers harvest long grass, beat it flat, and twist it into cords the width of a finger. The cords were twisted into ropes and the ropes into cables as thick as a man’s thigh. The cables formed the ribs of the floor and the hand rails of massive suspension bridges, while ropes and cords connected the cables. Bush branches were plaited to create the floor.  When finished, these suspension bridges would accommodate dozens of men and llamas. But the bridges were always temporary.

Centuries later, only one grass rope suspension bridge spans a gorge of the Apurimac River in southern Peru. The bridge, over 100 feet long, must be replaced every year, just as the emperor commanded. The villagers have kept the tradition, their heritage, and this art of ancient bridge engineering alive. It has been named a World Heritage Site. But it is still a bridge made of grass.

The word “bridge” does not appear in the Bible, but the concept does. Jesus is quoted by John (John 5:24) as saying, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” Jesus, his life, his words, his sacrifice, and his resurrection are the bridge to eternal life with God.

We need bridges. There are rivers and canyons that we have to cross to do things that need to be done, and not just in the physical world. In our relationships with others and in our inner lives, we find ourselves on one side of a bad situation and we have to find a way to get to the other side.

How does one escape the traps of pornography, alcoholism, adultery, or drug addiction? How does a person break the generational chain of family violence? How can we stop being selfish or always complaining? There is a way. There is a bridge.

The gospel tells us that we are born into this world separated from God. This chasm between us and the abundant life he created us to enjoy is caused by sin. Without a bridge to God we live, die, and suffer on our side of the chasm. But God has provided his Son to be the bridge, if we only have humility, turn away from our sin, and accept His forgiveness.

The Apostle Peter wrote (I Peter 3:18): For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God.

The world will not tell you that. Our culture wants us to believe that mankind created God, not the other way around. Our college professors and authors of books may ridicule the saving power of Jesus’ sacrifice. Many believe in some form of God, one that will be impressed by our good deeds and intentions. But after all we can do, there is still a chasm between man and God. And there is only one bridge.

God does not have to rebuild his bridge every year. He is eternal. His work is eternal. His gift is eternal. 

The Apostle John wrote (I John 5:13):

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

As Peter expressed it in I Peter 1:24: All men are like grass and their glory is like the flowers of the field; The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.




Last modified on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 15:23
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