There are few other sights in the United States that stand out as symbols of American ingenuity, way of life, and pioneer-ism, more than the Golden Gate Bridge. Today I want to take you back to the building of this magnificent bridge, and liken it to the bridge from earth to Heaven, namely, The Way of the Cross.
The Golden Gate, or Chrysopylae, is the strait that connects the San Francisco Peninsula to the Marin Peninsula. Before 1937, it was crossed only by ferry boat. From shore to shore, the strait is over 4,000 feet. Conventional bridges were not an option for crossing this span, for the depth of the San Francisco Bay reached 372 feet. It would take lots of inspiration and perspiration to cross this channel.
Mankind today is faced with a similar dilemma. The gulf that separates man from God is the bottomless pit of his own sin. Many men have tried to work their way to Heaven, but their worldly wisdom and riches will not do. Why, men can just barely make it to the moon, and how do they expect to reach Heaven? It would take the skill of a Master Carpenter to design a better way.
Today, other bridges have been build which dwarf the Golden Gate Bridge for size and length, but they were constructed more than 20 years after Golden Gate was built! Nothing of this scale had ever been attempted before, yet it would encourage the building of more than a dozen bridges in following decades. The challenge was enormous and dangerous, yet it attracted and excited the most brilliant of engineers, among them Joseph Strauss.
Joseph Strauss was a visionary, much like the Bible Joseph, stepfather of Jesus, who was a dreamer. Few others could see the project completed, but Strauss in 1916 compelled the San Francisco city authorities to trust his plan, until finally in January 1933, ground was broken on this amazing project. Strauss’ plan was to complete the project in half the time anticipated, and for less than 1/3 of the expected budget.
God’s plan was unmatched and unprecedented, and will remain so for all the ages. The eternal laws of justice would never bend, “and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12b) Men paid for their own sins day after day, until at long last, “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law.” (Galatians 4:4-5) The unsurpassed plan of God fashioned the bridge of all time and eternity, the bridge of all peoples, languages, and nations, the bridge from sinful man to thrice-Holy God: Jesus Christ.
The Golden Gate Bridge construction lasted a little over 4 years, from 1933 to 1937. The two main towers stand more than 750 feet above the water’s surface. Slung over them are 2 massive cables, made up of 27,572 individual wires to support the suspended roadway. Fastening these cables are approximately 1.2 million steel rivets. Each anchorage for holding the cable to the shore consists of 60,000 tons of concrete. All this to support some 110,000 vehicles that traverse the six-laned bridge every day.