Thursday, September 13, 2012

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge in Northern Michigan

Several times a year I am asked to write a pastor's perspective for one of our local newspapers, which I always enjoy doing.  In today's edition of The Weekly Choice is my most recent article.  This one was the most challenging one that I have ever written because I was asked to give a Biblical perspective to the annual Antique Tractor Crossing of the Mackinac Bridge that happens this weekend.  Here is what I wrote:

Bridges fascinate me, especially our own Mackinac Bridge right here in Northern Michigan.  On Labor Day my daughter and I participated in the annual Bridge Walk.  What a great experience it was to walk across this 5 mile bridge, becoming even more fascinated by such an amazing structure with every step I took.  This weekend the celebration continues with the annual Tractor and Semi Crossing.  We sure know how to celebrate this wonderful bridge here in Northern Michigan, don’t we?

I have crossed some historic bridges like the Golden Gate Bridge and our own Mackinac Bridge, but neither of them would classify as the greatest bridge I have ever crossed.  The greatest and most momentous bridge I have ever crossed was built long before these two great bridges were ever constructed.  This bridge did much more than to allow me to cross over some troubled water.  This bridge spanned the enormous expanse that separated me from God.  It wasn’t water that separated me from God, it was my sin and there was nothing I could do to fix the problem.  

However, God provided a way – He provided a bridge.  He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to come to this world.  The Bible teaches us that God became man and lived on this earth in human form for 33 years before He died on the cross for my sin and then rose from the dead.  The perfect Son of God died for my sin and in so doing, He did what no man could do for me and what I could never do for myself.  On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for my sin in full.  His cross became the bridge that allowed me to cross over the expanse of my sin and have a relationship with God, resulting in the assurance that I will one day be in heaven with Him.  I crossed that bridge when I trusted Jesus Christ to be my Lord and my Savior.  I didn’t drive across that bridge on a tractor or in a semi; I crossed that bridge riding the only transportation allowed – FAITH!  The Bible says,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not a result of works so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge is an amazing thing to do, whether you drive your car over it, walk over it, or even hop on your antique tractor or jump in your semi and make your way across its long expanse.  But the greatest bridge you can ever cross is that which leads to a relationship with a holy God through faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross.  This is a bridge crossing so worthy of celebration that the Bible says that even the angels in heaven rejoice when any one person says “YES” to Jesus Christ.       

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