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Bridge-Building Material

The Cross



Bridge-Building Material

The Cross


 A bridge is for the purpose of spanning an otherwise uncrossable surface.  It may span a river or hang between mountains.  In complex roadways in busy cities, it may overpass other highways. 

 Just imagine the chaos of modern day city traffic without these spans!  Areas that we could not reach become accessible because someone built a bridge connecting them.



The Bridge Builder

 An old man, traveling a lone highway,

Came at the evening, cold and gray,

To a chasm, vast and deep and wide

Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim—

That sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned, when he reached the other side,

And built a bridge to span the tide.


“Old man,’” said a fellow pilgrim near,

“You are wasting strength in building here.

Your journey will end with the ending day;

You never again must pass this way.

You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide.

Why build you the bridge at the eventide?”


The builder lifted his old gray head.

“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,

“There followeth after me today

A youth whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm that has been naught to me

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

 By Will Allen Dromgoole

(Some sources say “Author unknown”)


What a noble gesture of the “old man” who  never again would  cross the chasm!  As great as his contribution to future travelers was, it can’t compare to the “Master Bridge Builder” – Jesus Christ.  A great chasm separated us from God; and there was only a void with no light, no way, until Jesus built a bridge connecting us to the Father through His death on the cross.  He installed a cloudless light, His Word, that will never dim or cast a shadow so that all travelers can find the way.

 The cross of Jesus is bridge-building material. It removed all the debris (our sins), cleaned up the remnants of the past, and when completed it gave us unlimited access to God’s throne.

 Jesus didn’t need the bridge.  He was already in the presence of His Father, but “God so loved the world” (John 3:16) and Jesus was the "greater Friend who lay down Hs life for His friends” (John 15:13) – all for our sakes.  A supreme divine act of love.  The bridge will never be replaced or need maintenance.  It was an act of perfection.  It will never come crashing down, sending us into the dreaded chasm.  That day is passed, gone forever.

 Only those who try to build their own bridges will have to worry about the chasm.  No other builder can construct a flawless span that will be unquestionably safe and lead directly to God.  All other bridges will fall into the chasm along with those who are traveling on it.

 An elderly carpenter decided to retire.  The contractor was sorry to lose his best carpenter and asked for one last favor.  Would he build just one more house before he retired?  The carpenter agreed, but his heart wasn’t in it, and the workmanship was shoddy. The materials were inferior.  He was just eager to get the job done and quit work and spend time with his family.

 When the structure was completed, the contractor came to inspect it.  He gave the carpenter the keys to the house and said, “This is your house, my gift to you in appreciation for your faithful service through the years.”  What a shock!  If only he had known he was building his own home!

 God’s Word tells us to do all as if we were doing it for God Himself.  He is the contractor and wants us to have the best possible “house” we can build with quality material that will last throughout eternity.

 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23).

 Jesus is building us a place and will come again to take up back to what he has prepared.  Should we not build our best for Him while we await His return, using the best materials we have, withholding no resources?  After all, our resources come from His supply house anyway!

The vertical purpose of the cross is to span the gulf of sin, bringing us into the presence of God.  But it doesn’t end there.  There is a horizontal purpose.  The cross cancels our debt to God, and then we cancel our debts to each other.  “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive  our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).  The bridge Jesus built spans race, creed, nationality, gender and anything else that creates a chasm between us on the horizontal plane.

 As the Easter season approaches, let us examine the Bridge.  Are we using the vertical one, the one that the cross of Jesus built?  Is it also reaching across the lines of division that separate us from fellow vertical travelers?  Easter will not be complete until the Cross brings us into the presence of God and spans relationships on the horizon as well.

 Be a bridge builder.  Use your best materials and give conscientious workmanship that will produce what God will approve of.  He has already completed the vertical bridge and expects us to build the horizontal one.

 Of course the vertical bridge was not complete until the resurrection of Jesus!  If Jesus had just died and never arose from the dead, He would be just another good teacher but powerless to offer eternal life.  But, Hallelujah! He completed His bridge!  He arose from the dead and promised that we too would be resurrected and be included in His glory with the Father.


The bridge is secure!



 Each of us is given a bag of tools,

A shapeless mass, a book of rules;

And each must make ere life is flown,

A stumbling block or a stepping stone.

                                   By R.L. Sharpe


Delores has another Easter page at a friend's web site.  Click below

Stand-In for Barabbas


The Bridge Of The Cross

Man fain would build a bridge to God
Across the fathomless abyss
That lies between his earth-bound soul
And heaven's perfect bliss.

He takes his knowledge, small and vague,
The great inventions he has wrought,
His mightiest efforts, finest plans,
And his profoundest thought:

He binds them with his strands of straw,
His strings of tow, his ropes of sand,
With all the power and the skill
Of cunning brain and hand.

Through swirling mists he strains his eye,
Above the unseen torrent's roar
He pushes forth the makeshift thing
And hopes to touch the shore.

But when he seeks to cross the chasm
With eager heart and step elate,
He finds his bridge too short to reach,
Too frail to bear his weight.

Oh, baseless dream! Oh, useless toil!
Oh, utter and eternal loss!
For God has laid, to span the void,
His Son upon the cross.

And when man's broken bridges fall,
And sink into the gulf at last,
Still wide and long and safe and strong,
The bridge of God stands fast.

-----by Annie Johnson Flint-----








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