When a bridge collapses it’s always inconvenient, and sometimes tragic. Some years ago, I remember a bridge on the New York throughway near Albany, collapsed. It collapsed actually, under the pressure of heavy floodwaters, and several vehicles literally plunged into that raging river and it took their occupants to their death. Now it isn’t always that tragic, but whenever a bridge is out, and you’ve probably driven somewhere and suddenly you saw that sign “Bridge out.” You go, “Oh great!” And whenever a bridge is out it just makes it that much more difficult to get from one point to another. In fact, sometimes that bridge is the only way to get there. Oh, and sometimes the bridge is a person.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Collapse Of a Two-Legged Bridge.”
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is from 2 Corinthians 5. I’m going to read beginning at verse 19 – this is the words of the Apostle Paul. Here’s what he says, “God has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
Now when you hear these verses, I hope you get a mental picture. There’s a great chasm, on one side is Jesus, on the other side I want you to picture someone who’s close to you; someone who as far as you know probably doesn’t know your Christ yet . Think about a lost person, maybe somebody who lives right near you, or you drive by all the time or walk past. It could be somebody who works near you, or at school. You see them almost every day. Someone you’re on the phone with, or in a club with, you’re on the Internet with a lot, could be a family member, could be someone in a carpool with you. But they’re on the other side.
Now the word here is reconciliation. We have the ministry, the responsibility, the trust of reconciliation. God has committed to us, it says, the message of and the ministry of reconciliation. What does that mean? It means that there needs to be a bridge from that person to Jesus across that chasm. Guess who the bridge is? Yep! The two-legged bridge is you. Now in that mental picture, is this person you know moving toward Jesus because of you or are they as far from Him as they’ve ever been, and maybe they’ve known you for years? Is it possible that person’s bridge to Jesus has collapsed?
Sometimes it means you’re just so busy. “I’ve got so many things to do in my life, I never get around to talking to you about Jesus,” but the days become weeks, and the weeks become months, and the months become years, and the years become never, and they become lost forever. Sometimes it’s fear, but the greatest fear shouldn’t be of being rejected by that person.
Our greatest fear should be if that person I care about would be lost forever. Sometimes it’s the pressure, the peer pressure that makes me start doing things that make them wonder if being a Christian is really anything that different. I’m confusing them. I’m keeping them from Jesus because I’m not a whole lot different from the people who don’t know Him.
I remember the morning I woke up and heard on my clock radio that a young girl I’d gone to high school with – I was a freshman in college at the time – she’d been murdered as a college freshman. I thought back over all those conversations we had about everything except Jesus. Oh, I was the bridge, but the bridge was out. I collapsed for her, and I can’t help but wonder if somewhere in the quarters of eternity someone we knew on earth won’t cry out to us, “Why didn’t you tell me? You knew about this all the time. We talked about everything. Man, why didn’t you tell me about Jesus?”
The good news is there’s still time. Jesus is standing on one side with outstretched arms; that person you care about is restless in their heart where they are on the other side. What they need is a bridge, and the bridge is you.