We all know Jesus left heaven just to reconcile us with the Father. Even though He is a Holy God, He left heaven to come down to an unholy earth filled with sinful people. He became the bridge between us and the Father. He had to touch base with unholy things which He had nothing in common with, for our sakes so that He could become the bridge and connect us with God, the Father.
Reconnected to LIFE
When we received Jesus as our Saviour, we were saved from perdition and eternal death. It is and will always be the biggest highlight of our lives. We are ‘Saved’, ‘Redeemed’, blessed with grace and every blessing through Jesus. It is easy for believers to think, “My life is fulfilled, there is nothing else for me to do. I just have to go to church every Sunday, take care of my duties at home and at work and get old and die someday to go to heaven!” Simple, isn’t it? Get your retirement plan ready, live out this life doing a few good and convenient things that are comfortable, enjoy your life and go home to be with the Lord at the end of your life. Wonderful!
But the Lord wants more from us. When Jesus called His first disciples, “He said to them, Come after Me [as disciples—letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men! ” Matthew 4:19
In Luke 9:23, “He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].” AMPC
In Matthew 10:38 He goes even further to say, “And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me.”
We Have Been Called
God is calling us to be bridges too. We are happy to receive our Father’s love and move forward into eternal life when we are saved. However, the Lord wants us to think about others too just as Jesus thought about us. He wants us to help someone else experience this same joy of knowing the truth and enjoying oneness with the Father which we are experiencing first hand.
It is easy for us to feel a burden for our family and friends. We pray for them to know the Lord Jesus and receive Him as their Saviour. We pray and pray for them because we know that they ultimately would have to spend eternity in Hell for not receiving Jesus. Most people stop with their own family and friends.
Jesus had a mission. “Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15) This includes not just you and me and our friends and family, it includes every living soul on the face of the earth. Why is that so? It is because all human beings are created by the Lord God in His likeness and therefore are His children. Don’t fathers want their children to know and love them? Our heavenly Father is a true Father and Jesus came to fulfill the desire of His Father’s heart!
Joining Two Opposites Ends
Just as Jesus had to make a decision to live in this unholy world, we too will need to make hard decisions when we follow His example. We will need to have a point of contact with the people God has placed on our hearts. He can lead us to be a channel of blessing to them and pray and intercede for them. He can lead us to work with them and meet their needs so they can experience His love too. We can also share our testimony with others and tell them what the Lord has done for us.
The bridge always has two ends. One on one side of the river and the other on the opposite side of the river. Jesus joined the holy and unholy through His sacrifice. We are also called to reach out to those estranged from God the Father. Wso we will need to follow the example of Jesus Who spent time with the tax collectors and adulterers, who were called the ’eminent sinners’ of His time. His doing so attracted the attention of many people.
Judged by the Pharisees
Luke 15:2 says, “And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them.” Jesus faced flak from the Pharisees who had no idea about what Jesus was actually doing. They could not understand because they did not know the heart of the Lord.
Jesus shared a parable in Luke 15:4-7 saying, “What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his [own] shoulders, rejoicing. And when he gets home, he summons together [his] friends and [his] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost. Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [especially] wicked person who repents (changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.”
Maligned and Misunderstood
All through history God has asked His prophets to do strange things. No one could understand, fathom or predict what the Lord God would do. Ezekiel had to sleep on his left side for 390 days. Hosea had to marry a promiscuous woman. Elijah was fed by ravens. Jesus the Son of God came to earth to die on a cross! The people of his time had no clue about His mission and purpose. Many reviled Him.
Jesus says in Luke 7:33-35, “For John the Baptist has come neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, He has a demon. The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, Behold, a Man Who is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and notorious sinners. Yet wisdom is vindicated (shown to be true and divine) by all her children [by their life, character, and deeds].”
Our God is Sovereign. He can do whatever He wants. No one can withstand Him. What power or authority does anyone have to interfere or hinder or forbid or withstand God? (Acts 11:17b)
Suffering and the Believer
1 Peter 5:8-10 gives us very important advice. It says, “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.”
Jesus also warns us in Matthew 10:22 saying, “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake, but he who perseveres and endures to the end will be saved [from spiritual disease and death in the world to come].”
Take Up Your Cross
Jesus tells us, “Take up your cross daily and follow Me.” This will be a hard thing to swallow for those who think that life as a Christian should be a bed of roses.
The most comforting thing is that we always have Jesus on our side. He has promised us, “Behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).” Matthew 28:20 AMPC
Are you ready to face discomfort, be misunderstood, be hated and be reviled for Jesus sake? Will you consider becoming the bridge for someone who needs to know the Lord?
If we run our race, and endure suffering for the Lord’s sake, some day we will have the joy of hearing Jesus say to us, “Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.” (Matthew 25:21)
Can there be any joy greater than this?