One of my favorite video game soundtrack composers (other than my oldest son) is named Kyle Gabler. One of his first big hits was for a game called “World of Goo”, where bridges and structures can literally be constructed by assembling little “goo balls” (blobs with eyeballs) that sprout supporting structures when near other goo balls. There’s a track from that game called “Ode to the Bridge Builder”, which I particularly like. While it’s not long, I’ll sometimes repeat it two or three times when I’m driving in the car, to enjoy its soulful notes.
While listening to this track in the car the other day, it occurred to me that there is another Bridge-Builder, to whom many odes have been written. Upon further reflection, many of the other songs that I have in the car are indeed odes to Jesus, the ultimate builder of bridges.
The first way that Jesus is a bridge-builder (other than creating the materials from which all bridges are built today – see Colossians 1:15-17) is in spanning the gap that our sin created between us and God.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
John 5:24 NIV
This gap wasn’t something that we could span with stone, wood, or steel (i.e., real life isn’t Fortnite)…or even interlinking goo balls. The chasm that our evil choices created was too great to be crossed with a jump, a catapult, an airplane, or even a spaceship. We created a rift so great in our relationship with God that we couldn’t possibly restore it on our own.
Then Jesus stepped in and provided a way. By His earning the privilege of God’s favor (which we needed, but had lost) through His perfect righteousness, and then voluntarily taking on the punishment (death and separation from God the Father) that we deserved, He got us to the other side of the chasm by taking our place – literally swapping roles when it came to experiencing the death that we had earned.
More than that, though, Jesus is the ultimate bridge-builder among human beings.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV
In the early church, individuals from different people groups could find common ground in following Jesus. Despite having different roles to play, members of the body of Christ could be at peace with each other. The could become part of the same family, rather than being divided by preferences, biases, and historical feuds. Of course, the process of becoming like Jesus takes time, so His disciples over the years haven’t always done this perfectly; yet, even today, there are those who have found reconciliation with former enemies, and a new outlook on all of humankind, once they saw how much Jesus loved them.
So, if you like good music, check out Mr. Gabler’s site. In fact, the “liner notes” for this particular track (which I didn’t see at first, when starting this article) seem unusually fitting in light of the observations noted above:
22. Ode to the Bridge Builder
This was the second track I wrote for the game. The goal was to make a variation on Amazing Grace, in the style of those old western soundtracks by Ennio Morricone.
And, if you like finding peace with the God of the universe, and seeking common ground with other people, get to know Jesus Christ. A variation on Amazing Grace, indeed!