Lent Devotional: John 1:43-51
by Jonathan Haefs
John 1:43-51 (click here)
And [Jesus] said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)
In Genesis 28, Jacob dreamed of a ladder that connected heaven and earth upon which angels were ascending and descending.
Jesus picks up that image in John one, but he replaces the ladder with himself!
All who follow Jesus will see heaven and earth connected by Jesus…not in a dream, but in reality! How? When? Where?
The Gospel of John makes the answer plain… the cross.
John 8:28, “…When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he…” This is a reference to the cross. When Jesus is lifted up on the cross, then his followers will know he truly is the Messiah, for there he will be connecting heaven and earth by his own blood.
Upon the cross, Jesus will reconcile us to God…he will be God’s way to us and our way to God…like a ladder connecting heaven and earth! What wondrous glory is this…that a cross meant to bring death would be used to bring me life!
The cross is the very place we see the glory of Jesus! And the cross is the glorious place to which we follow Jesus!
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Following Jesus does not bring glory to oneself according to the world’s standard of glory…quite the opposite! His glory looks like a cross! Following Jesus will take you to a cross, but it will also take you through that cross to resurrection life!
We may “share his sufferings” even “becoming like him in his death,” but it’s so “that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)
In Christ’s sufferings we see his glory, and with our sufferings we show his glory to the world so that they may see him as the one who connects heaven and earth! We long for all to see the greatest thing… eternal joy in God through Jesus!