Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Christ-Like Bridge

What you see here is a portion of the General Pulaski Skyway, an elevated road spanning some 3.5 miles in northeastern New Jersey. Opened in 1932, it's a classic example of a steel girder bridge.

I thank my friend Mark for pointing it out, apropos a post on one of my other blogs. You never know where inspiration is going to strike. The moment I saw this picture, I was struck by a potential parable about Christ. To be more precise, this bridge can serve as an "object lesson" on the Ascension of our Lord.

Before Jesus was taken up into the heavens, He promised His disciples: "Behold, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). Then He was removed from their sight. In a similar context He had earlier said: "A little while, and you will no longer behold Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me" (John 16:16). What does it mean that Jesus has gone away into heaven? In what way is He no longer with us, and in what way is He always with us?

In a faint, limited way, this could be likened to the steel girders in the Pulaski Skyway bridge seen above. Put yourself in this picture. As you drive along the bridge, heading toward the left, the girders are suddenly (though gracefully) removed from view. As far as you can see from where you're sitting, the steel girders supporting the bridge are simply, suddenly, not there any more. But from another perspective (e.g. where the picture was taken), one can see that the girders are still there. They've simply gone under the bridge, where those on the deck above cannot see them.

Now suppose you're crossing the bridge from left to right. What you'll experience this time is like the vision of Christ in store for us when He returns, or when we enter His visible presence in heaven. It may seem that we're meeting Him for the first time, but really He's been with us all along, unseen yet just as strong to uphold us.

No comments: