Descending and Ascending
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most popular destinations on earth, it was completed in 1889. How many steps are there from bottom to top? There are 1665 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower from the esplanade. The distance between us as tourists from the top of the Eiffel Tower is greater than those steps from bottom to top. First we must travel to Paris.
Once we arrive at the base, there are 674 steps to the second floor. The stairway from the second floor to the top is not open to the public. Knowing the number of steps doesn’t let us ascend them.
The Eiffel Tower’s official website shares this information as well:
“It will take about 30-45 minutes to climb the stairs to the 2nd floor. It all depends on how fit you are! However, please avoid taking the stairs with very young children or babies (gentle reminder: there is no space or locker room for left luggage), or anyone in poor health. The stairways are not open to visitors with reduced mobility.”
Our energy can be spent climbing the 674 steps to the second floor, but we must be relatively fit and not burdened by luggage to get there.
We can try to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but we will not make it.
Those stairs are not ours to climb.
“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) ” Ephesians 4:7-10 ESV
Ephesians 4 resounds with the message that we are one as the body of Christ. All people are made in God’s image. All people have turned away from the God who loves us. All people have been pursued by a Savior, Jesus Christ. When we trust Him as Savior, our lives change. We love Him and we are part of His family. We are one in the Spirit! Our goals become His.
Before we can come to that place, we must see that the distance between us and God is greater than the distance from Heaven to Earth.
Some of us don’t like the idea that we can’t do something. I suppose all of us are opposed to the idea. We want something and we set out to get it, whatever the cost. Our pride prevents us from seeing our limits and our brokenness.
We could climb to the second floor of The Eiffel Tower, but we will not be able to walk to the top.
There’s such a contrast between our outrageous pride and the humility of Jesus.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
In order to come to the cross of Christ, we must see our own limits.
We must be able to humbly admit our brokenness. Our faults are exposed there.
We are dependent on the Savior.
We are sinners, and will never be able to be near to God. But through Christ, God has pursued us. The Son descended. He lived on this earth, faultlessly fulfilling God’s Word. Someday He will take believers home with Him.
How can anyone get to the top of the Eiffel Tower? The stairs will only take us, the public, to the second floor. There is a way up. Hydraulic machines, designed by Gustave Eiffel, began operation in 1899. Though “restored and computerized” these same machines are in use today.
There is only one way to draw near to God. It is through Jesus Christ, His Son. He humbly descended to earth, died on the cross, and God has highly exalted Him. This is our hope.
John 3:13-15 “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ”
Thank you for designing a way for me, a sinner, to draw near to You. Thank You for the gift of your Son. I know that He is the way, the truth, and the life. Please cause me to live by this truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
Why did Jesus descend to earth?
Why do so many of us have a hard time turning to Christ?
How will you carry the message of Christ to others?
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eph 4:7–10). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Php 2:4–11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 3:13–15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.