READ : Genesis 28:10-19
And [Jesus] said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)
Place yourself in the sandals of Jacob. He is fleeing for his life from the anger of Esau, his brother. He is alone in strange territory. The sun sets. Darkness falls. Jacob goes to sleep with a stone for a pillow.
Then, in a dream, he sees angels “ascending and descending” (v. 12) on a ladder reaching to heaven. Note that “ascending” comes first. That means the angels had been on earth, protecting him; at the end of the dream, they descend back to earth! It is little wonder that Jacob calls the place “Bethel” (“house of God”) and heads toward Haran with confidence. God and his heavenly host are with him.
This story points ahead to the time of Jesus, where once again Jesus knew angels were ascending and descending upon him. An army of angels first appeared on the fields of Bethlehem (Luke 2:13). Angels ministered to him after a series of temptations from Satan (Matt. 4:11). In the Garden of Gethsemane an angel came to strengthen him (Luke 22:43). And when the armed guards came to arrest him, Jesus could have called on twelve legions of angels (Matt. 26:53).
But Jesus did not call for them. His hour had come, and he sacrificed himself on Calvary for the sins of his people. What a Savior!
Thank you, Jesus, for giving your life on the cross and for your ongoing protection through your holy angels. Amen.