It’s called the Bridge of Strings and when it opened in Jerusalem in 2008, like so many other things in that city, it was controversial, criticized as too extravagant by some, and as out of its element by others as it welcomes visitors who come to that ancient city from the north.
Designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the bridge is marked by a 119-meter high mast with 66 steel cables arranged in a parabolic shape, resembling both a tent in the desert and a harp. But Calatrava also was influenced by what he said is the Latin origin of the word “religious,” stemming from re-ligare, meaning “to create a link.” Fittingly, thus, the light rail line that travels across the bridge connects both parts of that contentious city, winding through both Jewish and Muslim neighborhoods.
On that first Palm Sunday, however, Jesus entered into this city from the east but also found it divided. For the acclaim of many was matched by criticism from others, leading before the week had ended to His public execution on the cross. Yet it was through His death that Jesus indeed created a bridge back to God for us all, for any, in fact, “who received him and believed in His name.”
For in the end, if the rocks were ready to cry out, even the loudest critics couldn’t silence His voice. And the good news is, they still can’t.
(The preceding was published by the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church as a part of its Lenten devotional series based on public art. To view this online or to read other devotionals in the series, please go to https://umc-gbcs.org/blog/a-bridge-back-to-God-a-Lenten reflection.)