He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
Have you ever seen the hit Channel 4 show ‘Grand Designs’. I’m quite a fan. I love watching the houses progress from drawings to real homes. One of the things that always strikes me as I watch the buildings take shape is how dangerous building sites are. As someone who has an issue with heights, I worry particularly when the builders climb up ladders and walk around upper floors on just the beams. You certainly wouldn’t get me up there! I’m always relieved when the floors are boarded, and when the rickety ladders are replaced with solid staircases.
If you read yesterday’s Daily Reading, you might remember that we looked at Jacob’s vision of a ladder linking heaven and earth. In today’s verse, we see that ladder replaced with something much more permanent. Jesus explains that ‘the Son of Man’ is now the link between heaven and earth. ‘Son of Man’ is a term that was first used in the Old Testament book of Daniel to refer to one “who was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him” (Daniel 7:14). It is also a name that Jesus often applied to himself, an indication of his messianic role.
Jacob’s vision of a ladder confirmed that God still wanted a relationship with the people he created, despite their sinful nature. He showed Jacob that he was still reaching out to his people, and that heaven and earth were still connected. Now, two thousand years after Jacob’s dream, the ladder that Jacob saw was being replaced. God was still reaching out to his people; he was still keen that heaven and earth should be interconnected. Now, however, that connection was being established through something more permanent, more solid, than a ladder. The link now is his son, Jesus Christ.
Here in John 1, right at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus suggests to his disciples that it is through him that mankind can be reunited with God. It is through him that people can know God. It is through him that we can be saved. He is new the link between people on earth and God in heaven. What’s more, this new way to heaven is permanent. Once that connection between the heavenly realms and the earth had been established, it was secure for all time. Even 2000 years after Jesus spoke these words, Jesus is still in place as the link between heaven and earth. We can still know God through Jesus. We can still be confident that we will get to heaven through Jesus.
Give thanks today for Jesus, that he established a permanent connection with heaven. Thank God for sending his son to be amongst us, and to die for us. Praise God that through Jesus we have been saved and can have a relationship with him!