Jacob dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! (Genesis 28:12)
In Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jacob is on the run. He is running out of town away from his brother Esau. Jacob is running for his life. He is tired and ready to sleep. Using a rock for his pillow, his eyes shut. But the Lord comforts Jacob even while on the run.
Are you afraid? Are you running from your problems? Have you hurt others? Have others hurt you? What does the Lord do for Jacob who is running and hiding?
Makes His Promise. The Promise is all about Jesus for you. A ladder between heaven and earth. Not for you to climb up to God. The Tower of Baal shows all our attempts to reach God by climbing up is sin. Let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens. (Genesis 11) God brings the wrecking ball against the Tower of Baal.
Sin cuts us off from God. Separates us from our Creator. But God comes down. He does not leave us in our sin. God becomes man, Jesus Christ comes down to rescue you.
The Ladder between heaven and earth is Jesus Christ for you. God comes down. Jesus is the Ladder? Indeed. Jesus teaches us that He is the fulfillment of the dream God gave to Jacob. “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)
At Christmas that is what the Shepherds in the fields see. Angels gather in the sky announcing the Savoir of the world has come down - Jesus Christ. Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2)
The Angelic Message—Jesus is the sin bearer (2 Corinthians 5). Jesus comes for sinners—to save you from your sins. Ladder Jesus goes to the Cross—to bear your sins and the sins of the world. Bringing sinners back to God. Purchased are you by the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1). Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb.
Jacob called the place “Beth-el—meaning House of God.” The place where God is. The Ladder ascended to heaven and touches earth. Jesus brings you back to God. For you the sinner—your sins are forgiven by Jesus. Believe God’s promises all about Jesus Christ. Life flows down the Ladder for you into your life. The forgiveness of sins (Luke 24) for you.
“Surely the LORD is in this place.” (Genesis 28) Going to church. Where the Word of God is purely taught and the Lord’s Sacraments are rightly administered—Is the House of God. Jesus is here.
How do you know? Because the Lord has promised it to you. Jesus is Immanuel—God with us. (Matthew 1)Here in Holy Baptism—Jesus gives His promise out to you—new life—born into the Kingdom of God. Gathering at the Lord’s Table. We gather with Angels, Arch-Angels and all the Company of Heaven. How? The Ladder Jesus Christ brings us into the presences of God—the most Holy Place living in the Lord’s forgiveness for you. We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way. (Hebrews 10) Happy believing in the promises filled by Jesus for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
-Pastor Berndt
907 God Himself Is Present
God Himself is present: Let us now adore Him And with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple; All within keep silence; Humbly kneel in deepest rev’rence.
He alone On His throne Is our God and Savior;
Praise His name forever!