(REMINDER: In my posts, you can conveniently read the scripture references by clicking or tapping on each underlined passage linked with Bible Gateway.)
Bridging the gap between others can seem like an impossible task. It takes very skillful persons to get two or more opposing parties connected for arriving at some kind of satisfaction. Indeed, it can sometimes present a challenge that only the Lord knows how to resolve.
A biker was riding on a highway along a California beach when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and in a booming voice, the Lord said:
“Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.”
The biker pulled over and said: “Lord, please build a bridge from California to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want.”
The Lord said, “Your request is materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports required would have to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that would honor and glorify me.”
The biker thought about it for a long time.
Finally he said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife. I want to know how she feels inside, what she’s thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing’s wrong, and how I can make a woman truly happy.”
The Lord replied, “‘Bout that bridge—you want two lanes or four?” (Aish.com)
When dealing with people, bridging the gap is the job of a mediator—someone who acts as a “go-between” between two parties for settling disputes. According to the dictionary,
A mediator is a person who mediates —helps to settle a dispute or create agreement when there is conflict between two or more people or groups by acting as an intermediary or go-between for those parties. The act or process of mediating is called mediation. (Dictionary.com)
Professional mediators specialize in many areas such as sports, finances, environment and media. Just about every organization requires a certified mediator when it comes to the need for conflict resolution.
The need for a mediator even reaches into the spiritual realm. Because we are fallible human beings, we all need some kind of divine guidance from a Higher Power whenever we encounter some disputes that seem impossible to settle. But who do we call on for this kind of help?
According to one source,
Every culture has had a mediator with the divine. Whether it was shamans who would interact with ancestor spirits or priests who would offer incense and sacrifices to deities, human beings are fascinated with interacting with the nonphysical world. Modern-day psychics, mediums, and spiritualists are sought out for their ability to supposedly interact with the spiritual world. Even presidents and governors have sought the advice of psychics and mediums during their term. (Illustration Ideas)
While these are the ways of the world, Christians turn to Someone even better to be our Mediator: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Man. Only he can be the true Mediator for bridging the gap particularly the big one between God and humanity. First Timothy 2:5 and 6 summarizes it this way:
5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time, (New American Standard Bible 1995, NASB 1995).
In this passage, we arrive at three facts: 1) There is only one person who is God; 2) There is only one Mediator between God and humanity, the man Jesus Christ; 3) Humanity was ransomed by the Man, Jesus Christ, who bridges the gap between humanity and God.
That gap is due to sin which separates us from the one God. We have been under the curse of sin ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden by partaking of the forbidden tree, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” (Genesis 3:1-24).
Sin goes against the perfect moral character of God, violates his moral laws, and opposes his perfect government. In essence, sin puts us in a rebellious state against God, and the result is death—a state of final separation from the One who is eternal. According to Romans 5:12,
“Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned,” (NASB 1995).
Because of our sinful nature, it is impossible to attain to the perfect nature of God through our own efforts. As the Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, NASB 1995). But because God IS perfect, he has provided the perfect Way for us to be forgiven of sin and be able to be saved from the penalty of sin which is eternal death:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
The Man, Jesus Christ, is the only begotten Son of God and the Savior of the world. Though he, himself, did not sin, he was crucified on the cross as the perfect Sacrifice, for our sins:
“He [God] made him [his Son, the Man, Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him,” (Romans 5:21).
Therefore, Jesus is the One who paid the ransom price for purchasing our salvation and for redeeming us with his own blood (Acts 20:28; Galatians 3:12-14; Romans 5:9). Jesus is the One and Only person through whom we can be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
After God resurrected him from death to immortality (Acts 2:24, 32-33; Romans 6:8-10; 1 Peter 1:21), God’s Son ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11) to where he is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne (Hebrews 8:1). He is now exalted in his heavenly ministry, interceding as the High Priest on our behalf (Hebrews 7:26-28). Since he is our High Priest before God our Father in heaven, we pray through him, in his name (Hebrews 4:14-16; John 14:13-14; 16:23-24). In this way, Jesus performs his role as Mediator between God and humanity:
“For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance,” (Hebrews 9:15, NASB 1991).
As the Mediator, the man Jesus Christ is the only person who bridges that gap between God and humanity. Therefore, you can say that Jesus is the bridge and God is the One who built it. As the late Dr. Alva G. Huffer wrote,
Man through his own efforts could never build a bridge between himself and God. Salvation does not originate in man; it is not based upon human works. Salvation originates in God. It is planned by His Wisdom, prompted by His love, and performed through his power. Jesus Christ as Mediator is the bridge between God and men. That bridge is a reality because of the divine initiative. ‘God so loved the world that he gave.’ God is the one who had erected the bridge between Himself and man, (Systematic Theology, 236).
The One God who gave his One and Only Son, the Man Jesus Christ, has promised that his Son will someday return from heaven to appear on earth (Acts 1:11) to establish God’s Kingdom. Christ our Mediator will literally appear again and “with great power and glory,” (Hebrews 9:28; Mark 13:26) to take on his new earth position as “King of kings and Lord of lords,” (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:11-16).
We eagerly look forward to that Day (Romans 8:19; 2 Peter 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8) when the Man, Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, will reward all his faithful with eternal life (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Revelation 22:12). In a manner of speaking, that will be the time when we cross over that bridge to enter the glory of God.
Good News to YOU!
P.S. For your inspiration, here’s the Christian version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” presented by the Sammy Hall Singers, https://youtu.be/DArFuBAcO-Y