Recently I wrote about a trip I took to Colorado to minister while I was in college. I still vividly remember one part of that trip. We stopped at the Royal Gorge. I had heard of it but never seen it before. You should Google it and look at the pictures.
Back in the late 70’s as I remember there was only a simple bridge across it, unlike the all the amusements that were there when I returned in 1995. Our small group walked out on the bridge and looked down. The sign said that it was over a thousand feet to the river below. Someone in our group dropped an orange off the bridge and we watched until it disappeared from sight. It seemed to disintegrate when it struck the rocks below. No way to survive a fall from there.
Suppose I decided I wanted to get across that canyon, but I did not trust or like the bridge. I could try to build one myself. After all I have seen lots of bridges so that qualifies me to build one, right? Well I decide instead to jump across the gorge and get to the other side. So I think I will try the old broad jump where you slightly squat and swing your arms out for momentum. At the time I was young and strong. I could broad jump pretty far.
So the whole group decides to stand on the edge of the gorge and jump across. We all start swinging our arms then squat down and make a final leap. As we all jump we compare ourselves on the way down. You see, I jump all little farther than someone else because I am a little stronger. Someone else stronger than I am jumps farther than I do. It doesn’t matter though because none of us makes it all the way to the other side and we all die in the fall. It does not matter who out jumps whom. It doesn’t matter if you miss the other side by half an inch, the result is the same–death.
It made me think about God. A great barrier separates us from God. The Bible calls it sin. We know we cannot stay where we are. We want to get to the other side to be with God. He knows we can never make it across, so He builds a bridge. He says, “If you want to come across to me, use the bridge I built for you.” That bridge is the cross of Jesus Christ. If you want to cross, you admit that it is the only way and that you need to cross. You will never cross that bridge until you decide to commit your weight to the bridge and step out in faith.
Many people today will say that there is more than one way to God. So they try to build their own bridge of self effort to get to God, but those bridges fail. Others try to jump across saying that can certainly out jump the people who attend church. It doesn’t matter if you out jump everyone and miss by half an inch, the result is the same–death. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we all “fall short.” No one can make it across. That’s why God had to build a bridge from His side to ours. The cost was so great that he built only one, but that one bridge is more than enough.
Religion is simply jumping lessons, how to increase your hang time and maybe get a little more distance on the competition. But that doesn’t matter. You will not arrive at the other side. Why not trust the bridge that God has built for us? Place yourself on the bridge of Christ’s Cross and walk across to fellowship with God.
There is always a place for you at Belvue Baptist Church, 1701 N. Coleman: a church in the oil patch for the oil patch. Mike McGuire is pastor.