A story is told of two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms, but fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods as needed without a conflict. Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days’ work” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?”
“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbour; in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better.”
“See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his PLACE or his FACE anymore!”
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails… and the post – hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.” The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.
It was a BRIDGE – a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, hand rails and all – and the neighbour, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.
“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have MANY more bridges to build.”
In like manner, OUR sin has created an enormous chasm which has separated YOU and ME from our Heavenly Father (Isaiah 59:1-2).
But, because of His GREAT love for us, God sent His Son – a carpenter – to “build the bridge” whereby we may “return to God” – to receive forgiveness for our sins and be reconciled to Him (Mark 6:3; John 3:16; Roman 5:8-10).
Mark 6:3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Roman 5:8-10 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall besaved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Building the bridge of forgiveness to close this tremendous gap cost the life of Jesus as He paid the price for our sins on the cross.
1 Peter 1:18-19 “We may “cross the bridge” through our obedient faith – believing in Jesus and trusting Him (Acts 16:31), repenting of our sins (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), and faithfully following Him for the rest of our lives (1 John 1:7).
Jesus said, “I am the Way (the “Bridge“), the Truth, and the Life. No one comes (“crosses over“) to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)
Have YOU crossed the Bridge of forgiveness and reconciliation to God?