Buying the Stairway to Heaven

Buying the stairway to heaven

We can learn a lot by an unusual incident that happens early in the Bible.  

Jacob, the grandson of Abraham and the father of the people of God, is on a long journey in Genesis 28.  Because this is before the day of air travel, he’s exhausted after a long day of walking. 

Jacob is so tired that he lies down in the open desert and uses a rock for a pillow to get some rest.  Sleep comes easy and deep when you’re exhausted like Jacob.  While he’s in a deep sleep, Jacob has a dream that is recorded in Genesis 28:12-13.  [And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground with its top reaching the sky, and God’s angels were going up and down on it…]

I’ve given a lot of thought to this dream, and I want to use this article to explain Jacob’s “Stairway to Heaven.  By explaining this stairway, I want to give you a glimpse into the world of angels that God created. 

Jacob was on a long journey because he ran away from home.  He’d gotten himself in trouble with his brother and father and was running for his life.  Sometimes, leaving everything that is familiar and comfortable to you creates the perfect opportunity for God to get your attention like he got Jacob’s attention.

Without leaving home, Jacob might have been too busy or too preoccupied to hear God’s voice or consider God’s message.  Is that true of you right now?  Are you in a place personally where you are sensitive to God’s leadership in your life? 

2 ends of this stairway

When your spirit is crying for leaving… it might be the first step toward God doing something new and wonderful in your life. Like for Jacob, God moves in the most powerful ways during your darkest days.

This stairway fascinates me.  Even though this is a dream, Jacob is convinced that something very real was also happening to him at the same time.  In Genesis 28:16, he recognized that God came down that stairway and became near to Jacob during that dream.

I don’t have a good mental picture of what this stairway looked like for Jacob.  I think he got a chance to see something that few, if any, humans ever get the opportunity to see… a connection between the spiritual world and the physical world. 

I love the fact that Jacob can see both ends of the stairway.  The fact that he can describe two ends of this stairway demonstrates that there is a real connection between Heaven and Earth.  Even if we don’t see it like Jacob, both the spiritual realm and the physical world are clearly connected to one another by this stairway.

Although I’ve never seen what Jacob saw in that dream, I’m as convinced of the spiritual world (angels and demons) as Jacob was.  How about you?  Do you believe that more exists than what you can see with your eye or measure with a scientific instrument?  Are you open to a spiritual world that is every bit as real as this physical world; it just can’t be seen by the eye?

1 Lord of the stairway

I’m fixated on the image of God standing at the bottom of the stairway in Genesis 28:13. The Bible is showing a clear image of 1 Lord over 2 worlds in this verse.  The angels are spiritual beings who travel from the heavens to Earth by means of this stairway.  And God is standing on Earth next to Jacob in this dream, reminding us that he is Lord over both the spiritual and the physical realms at the same time!

I want to remind people who are living their life totally oblivious to the spiritual realm that there is a connecting between God and man.  The stairway to Heaven is only accessible by the blood of Jesus Christ.  You can’t get up this stairway by being a good person. Going to church or praying hard doesn’t earn you access to the stairway to Heaven.

God made the way for sinful people like me and you to have access to Heaven by coming to Earth.  He showed up in the form of a helpless baby named Jesus of Nazareth.  That baby grew into a perfect, sinless man who purchased your access to Heaven by his sacrificial death on a cross and his miraculous resurrection to provide you eternal life.

Unfortunately, many people are attempting to buy the stairway to Heaven.  They don’t use money to buy the ticket; they use good deeds or religious efforts. If you’ve been living like you can earn your way into Heaven, I want to give you a chance to turn from your sins and trust only in the death and resurrection of Jesus as your stairway to Heaven. Yes, there are two paths you can go down, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.

Here’s a simple prayer to help you turn from your sins and trust Jesus as your Lord and savior:

God, forgive me for my sins and my failures.  Forgive me for thinking that I could be good enough or religious enough to earn my way into Heaven.  I believe that you sent your Son, Jesus, to purchase my access to Heaven by his death and resurrection.  Today, I turn from my sins and trust you only for eternal life.  Amen.

If you’ve just made that prayer from a sincere heart, I’d love to know about it.  I’d like to pray for you and follow up with you. Please contact me at:

Oh, and by the way- for those of you who haven’t figured it out by now, several lines from this article today are the lyrics for the Led Zeppelin Grammy Hall of Fame song with the same name![1]


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