It’s called the Bridge of Strings and when it opened in Jerusalem in 2008, like many things in that city, it was controversial, criticized as too extravagant by some, and as out of its element by others.
Designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the bridge, marked by a 119-meter high mast with 66 steel cables arranged in a parabolic shape, resembles 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 that travels across the bridge connects some of the contentious city, winding through Jewish, Muslim and Christian neighborhoods.
On that first Palm Sunday, however, Jesus entered into this city and 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 in the end, even the loudest critics couldn’t silence His voice. And the good news is, they still can’t.
C. Chappell Temple is the lead pastor of Christ Church (UMC) in Sugar Land, Texas. He sits on the board of directors for the General Board of Church and Society.