“Jacob came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants’ “ (Genesis 28:11-13).
“Jesus said to Nathanael, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man’ “ (John 1:51).
In Genesis chapter 28, we find Jacob on the run. After cheating his brother, Esau, out of their father’s blessing, Jacob fled to the safety of his uncle, Laban. One night along the way, Jacob has a dream. He saw a ladder between heaven and earth with angels ascending and descending upon it. The ladder was a portal to heaven. Jacob called the place Bethel (house of God), the place where he heard God’s voice.
Fast forward to John chapter 1. Jesus’ new recruit, Nathanael, was more than likely familiar with the story of Jacob’s ladder. Nathanael recognized Jesus as the Son of God, the King of Israel (John 1:49). Jesus replied to Nathanael, “You were impressed that I saw you under the fig tree from far away, but you are about to see even greater miracles” (John 1:50).
One of these greater miracles? “You will see the Son of Man as the ladder of Jacob with angels ascending and descending” (John 1:51). Jesus is foreshadowed in Jacob’s ladder. Jesus will become the portal between earth and heaven, between God and man. Jesus is the portal, the mediator, the way.
“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all” (I Timothy 2:5-6).
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’ “ (John 14:6).
Jesus was present in Jacob’s dream, because Jesus was there from the beginning!