BY JAMES ALGEO
Have you ever walked on a suspension bridge?
When I was about 15, I was bushwalking with my dad and we got halfway across this suspension bridge and it was covered in spiderwebs.
At one point, I looked down and on my leg was this massive spider. I just freaked out and jumped around … and the whole suspension bridge bounced up and down. And my dad was like “what are you doing!?”
We made it off the bridge ok, it didn’t snap, but man, that thing bounced and moved a lot.
Life isn’t always stable
Life can sometimes be a bit like a suspension bridge.
It doesn’t always feel that stable.
But a suspension bridge relies on two anchor points on either end of the bridge that make it secure. It’s those foundations that take all the weight.
In Romans 5:9-10, Paul talks about the two anchor points of the Christian life:
Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.
Look to the past
Did you spot the anchor points in the passage above?
The first is in the past: “Much more surely, now that we have been justified by his blood / We were reconciled to God through the death of his Son.”
These are past tense. Not things we are waiting for, but realities that exist now. It’s not like a transfer into your bank account that’s stuck processing. This has happened. We can experience a repaired relationship with our creator now. We have been justified. We have a fresh start.
So when we are on this rope bridge called life, and it feels like we’re being blown around and everything feels a bit rocky, we can look back at our past, and see that it is firmly anchored in the reality that Jesus died for us.
You’re not being justified, you have been justified. You’re not slowly heading towards reconciliation, as far as God’s concerned, that has happened. You have been reconciled. This is how our past is defined. God looks at us and doesn’t see our past, he sees Jesus.
Look to the future
Now look at the second half of verse 9 and 10.
He says the same thing twice. “will we be saved through him”
This is future tense.
There’s something to look forward to. This is the other end of the bridge.
Christianity is the only religion with a certain future. We know where we are going after we die, because we’re following someone who actually done it. He has died, not for 30 seconds, but for three days. And he rose again to tell us what’s on the other side.
We can look to the other end of the bridge, and we see the risen Lord Jesus, and we know, much more surely, that’s our future, risen like him, risen with him.
How to stay strong when life gets shaky
When you’re feeling uncertain about God’s love for you and what the future might hold, do this:
- Look back and see the first anchor point: Jesus died for you. God does loves you. You can’t change that, it’s solid.
- Look forward to your certain future: The resurrection is our hope and our guarantee of a future that can never perish, spoil or fade away.
When we live like we actually believe in this new reality, that God has transformed our past and future, well, it’s going to transform our present reality too. It changes how we live today.
When this life thing seems like a flimsy rope bridge, and you feel like you’re being blown around and about to fall off. Remember what is at either end. It’s firm, it’s fixed, it’s not going to break. We can walk with confidence. Do you want to know who you are? Just look back at the cross. There is your identity. You are loved. Do you want to know what’s ahead? Just look to the resurrection. We have a certain future.