It had been a long journey for Jacob fleeing from his brother Esau back home. He had lost everything and was utterly distressed— restless, homeless, and hopeless. One day he came to a place where he later called Bethel. At nightfall, wearied and tired, Jacob pillowed his head on a stone to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed. In his dream he saw a ladder that was set up on the earth with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on the ladder (Gen. 28:12).
A ladder is a stairway by which one can ascend from the ground to something higher. This stairway is for going up and coming down, indicating a traffic or communication. The ladder in Jacob’s dream is set up on the earth as a stairway to reach the heavens.
Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, in His incarnation became a man. As the Son of Man, He is the reality of the heavenly ladder seen by Jacob in his dream. Whereas Jacob saw the angels ascending and descending on a ladder, in John 1:51 the Lord Jesus said, “You shall see the heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” This is a marvellous revelation showing that the ladder is the Son of Man and that the Son of Man is a ladder in the universe.
As the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus in His humanity has become a joining ladder. This ladder is the means of communication between heaven and earth. He firstly brings heaven to earth and then He connects earth to heaven. Heaven refers to God, and earth refers to man. By His coming through incarnation, the Lord Jesus brought God into man (John 1:14), and by His going through death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus brought man into God (John 14:6). As the joining ladder, Christ joins God and man together into one (John 14:20).
In John 14:6 the Lord also said, “I am the way…. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Christ as the ladder is the way. He is the “ladder way.” Since the way is the living person of the Lord Himself, the place to which He brings man is also a person—God the Father. Hence, how can we the earthly and sinful men reach God and be one with the heavenly Father? It is only through Christ who is the way as the ladder. He is the real stairway to God. Where this ladder is, there is an open heaven. He is the only way by whom we can ascend from the earth to reach God and meet Him. He provides an access for man to touch God and contact God. Christ as the heavenly ladder is the standing stairway to bring God to us and join us to God. He is the stairway for us to be one with God.
In Jacob’s dream, the ladder was already there on earth when he saw it. Likewise, Christ the reality of the ladder had already been set up on earth today because God has become a man. As the Son of Man, He is the ladder bringing heaven to earth and uniting earth with heaven. He is not only in heaven but also here on earth. The Lord Jesus as the ladder is right in front of us. Whenever a sinner receives the Lord Jesus and is saved, many angels immediately ascend to heaven bearing the good news, and then they gladly descend with good things, that is, every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ (Eph. 1:4), for the new believer.
The experience of the Samaritan woman in John 4 is similar to Jacob’s experience in Genesis 28. The Lord Jesus, who had come down from heaven, went to the well purposely to meet her. To that Samaritan woman, Jacob’s well was Bethel, and Jesus was there as the heavenly ladder. She had met the Lord Jesus who is the reality of the ladder, which is the center, the focus of Jacob’s dream.
The situation today is the same when you want to meet the Lord. Just as He went to Jacob’s well and waited for the Samaritan woman, Jesus, the heavenly ladder, has come to where you are and is waiting for you. You do not need to pray for the ladder to come down to you. The ladder is already right in front of you. Salvation is awaiting you! The moment you are saved, you will reach God, meet God, touch God, contact God, and be one with God. If you touch Him, you touch heaven. It is truly an experience of heaven on earth. How wonderful this is!
Do you know that you have a spirit in your innermost being? It is the place of God’s habitation and is now the gate of heaven where Christ as the heavenly stairway joins you to God and brings God to you (Eph. 2:22). Just turn to your spirit and call on the Lord. You will sense that He is bringing God (heaven) to you and joining you to God (2 Tim. 4:22). You will touch the throne of grace in heaven through Christ as the heavenly ladder (Heb. 4:16).
Do pray this simple prayer:
“Lord Jesus, You are the heavenly ladder. You are my way to God. Thank You for bringing God to me and bringing me to God. I believe in You and I accept You into my life. I want to be one with You from this day on for the rest of my life. Amen.”