ODJ: stairway to heaven

August 16, 2015 

READ: John 1:35-51 

The Son of Man . . . is the stairway between heaven and earth (v.51).

While traveling in Paris, my husband and I decided to enjoy the view atop the Arch of Triumph. Choosing adventure over ease, we elected to climb the 284 stairs to reach the sky-high destination instead of taking the elevator. A good part of the climb required us to climb up what seemed like an endless spiral staircase. When we emerged at the apex, we relished the panoramic view of the city—a view made possible by our 162 foot ascent!

In the Old Testament, Jacob dreamed of a stairway that reached from earth to heaven (Genesis 28:12-15). Angels ascended and descended on the structure. And God stood at the top and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham” (v.13).

Centuries later, Jesus referenced a staircase like the one in Jacob’s dream. He had just revealed Himself to Nathaniel as the Messiah in a miraculous way (John 1:48-49). To the awestruck new disciple recruit and others, Jesus said, “You will see greater things than this . . . [you’ll see] angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth” (vv.50-51).

With this image, Jesus taught the disciples that He was (and is) the way to get to heaven (John 14:6). We can’t reach God on our own. Attempting this would be like trying to jump into the clouds from the earth—impossible! Thankfully, Jesus bridges the gap between God and us.

He’s the Lamb of God (1:29), the One who takes away our sin when we believe in Him. If you know Jesus, you can look forward to spending eternity with Him. If you don’t, today is the perfect time to consider the One who died for you—your personal ‘stairway to heaven’.

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day-plan: Luke 16:1-18

Read Isaiah 64:6 to see why it’s impossible for us to reach God without Jesus. 
What aspect of being with Jesus appeals to you the most? Why do you suppose He would refer to a stairway like the one in Jacob’s dream?