And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it . Gen. 28:12.
Jacob's experience as a wanderer from his home, when he was shown the mystic ladder, . . . was designed to teach a great truth in regard to the plan of salvation. . . .
The ladder represented Christ. He is the channel of communication between heaven and earth, and angels go to and fro in continual intercourse with the fallen race. The words of Christ to Nathanael were in harmony with the figure of the ladder, when He said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (John 1:51). Here the Redeemer identifies Himself as the mystic ladder that makes communication possible between heaven and earth. . . .
In assuming humanity, Christ planted the ladder firmly upon the earth. The ladder reaches unto the highest heaven, and God's glory shines from its summit and illuminates its whole length, while the angels pass to and fro with messages from God to man, with petition and praise from man to God. . . . In the vision of Jacob was represented the union of the human and the divine in Christ. As the angels pass to and fro on the ladder, God is represented as looking down with favor upon the children of men because of the merit of His Son. . . .
The gaining of eternal life is no easy thing. By living faith we are to keep on reaching forward, ascending the ladder round by round, seeing and taking the necessary steps; and yet we must understand that not one holy thought, not one unselfish act, can be originated in self. It is only through Christ that there can be any virtue in humanity. . . . But while we can do nothing without Him, we have something to do in connection with Him. At no time must we relax our spiritual vigilance, for we are hanging, as it were, between heaven and earth. We must cling to Christ, climb up by Christ, become laborers together with Him in the saving of our souls.