Genesis Types: 7. Jacob’s Ladder, A Type of Christ as the Way to Heaven

(Genesis 28:10-22) Jesus claimed to be Jacob’s ladder. "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it" (Genesis 28:12). Jesus made His claim in relation to this incident in John 1:51: "And he saith unto him [i.e., Nathanael], Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." Jesus was saying: "I am Jacob’s ladder; I am the link between heaven and earth." On another occasion He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). Jacob’s ladder was a ladder of grace, and thus is an appropriate type of Christ and His salvation. Jacob’s ladder reached all the way to Heaven from where an unworthy man was lying asleep. He was fleeing from his brother Esau after having received the blessing from Isaac by deception. Jacob might well have said: "I do not deserve such a vision." In a similar way every truly saved person feels like saying: "I deserve to go to Hell, but I am going to Heaven because Jesus died for me. I am only a sinner saved by grace." "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24). Jacob’s ladder reached down to a needy person, even as Christ today has opened the way of help for needy souls. The angels ascending the ladder represent the taking up to Heaven requests for things needed. The angels descending the ladder represent the bringing down of Heaven’s help in time of need to the one praying. Jesus is the ladder upon which the angels ascend and descend. All true prayer is in Jesus’ name. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). Jacob’s ladder was like Christ because it brought down to earth the promise of Heavens blessings. A fitting climax to the vision was God’s voice speaking to Jacob from the top of the ladder, promising many blessings. This message ended thus: "Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of" (Genesis 28:15). God’s promise included just what Jacob needed. And that is like God’s promise to Christians in Philippians 4:19: "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." [Old Testament Types - FHW]

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