Jacob’s Ladder is a pastel drawing inspired by an intriguing dream the patriarch had on his way to Harran. In Genesis 28:10-15, we read how Jacob took a stone and lay down to sleep…how he got any sleep lying on a rock has always amazed me!! In the dream Jacob sees a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with the angels of God ascending and descending on it. The Lord then confirms the same covenant with Jacob that He made with Abraham:
The promise that he would possess the land of Canaan and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of the sky and be a blessing to all the world.
When I started this drawing, I took the liberty of making the staircase out of stone, with Jacob nestled at the bottom. The angels were a lot more difficult to draw – I suppose that’s because I didn’t have a personal, visual reference for them! With any piece of art - be it drawing, painting, dancing, writing or singing, the artist is endeavouring to give their interpretation of a moment in time.
How does one even attempt to depict Jacob’s words in response to his dream:
“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the House of God, this is the Gate of Heaven.”
So, what makes such a non-descript place the Entrance to Heaven, the House of God?
The mystery unfolds when we read Yeshua’s reference to Jacob’s dream in John 1:51: “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
In this one sentence Jesus redefines the Gate of Heaven, changing it from a place to a person – the Son of Man. Throughout the New Testament, Yeshua often speaks of Himself as the Son of Man - a reference to a major prophecy of the Messiah found in Daniel 7:13.
The ascent of angels on the Son of Man, indicates that He is the ladder, a connection between man and God. In past conversations, I’ve had people say “I don’t need a mediator, I can go straight to God.” In his book The Messiah Factor, Tony Pearce writes:
“As far as Judaism is concerned there is no need for a Mediator, because God reveals himself directly to Israel through the Torah.”
But when we read the account of the Torah being given in Exodus chapters 19 and 20, we see that Moses was the mediator through whom God spoke to the people.
Under the Old Covenant, there were particular rules for worshipping God. Only the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies and he took with him the blood of an animal which he offered to God on behalf of himself and for the sins which the people committed. In Hebrews 9:15 we read concerning Yeshua:
“That is why He is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them.”
Religion pushes us to performance – trying to climb the ladder of a clean conscience. A relationship with Yeshua, the Mediator, means that by faith we are made right with God
Yeshua said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6.
If you haven’t already taken that step, why not make it today?!