There was once a big turntable bridge, which spanned a large river.
During most of the day, the bridge sat with the length running up and
down the river parallel with the banks allowing ships to pass freely on
both sides of the bridge. But, at certain times of the day, a certain
train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways
across the river allowing the train to cross.
A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river, where he
operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place when the
train crossed. One evening, when the switchman was waiting for the
last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance, through
the dimming twilight, and caught sight of the train's light. He stepped
to the controls and waited until the train was at a prescribed distance
when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but
to his horror, he found that the locking control didn't work. If the
bridge was not locked securely into position, it would wobble back and
forth at the ends when the train came to it, causing the train to jump
the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger
train with many people aboard.
He left the shack with the bridge turned across the river, and hurried
to the other side of the river, where there was a lever, which he could
use to operate the lock manually. He could hear the rumble of the train
now, and leaned backwards to apply his weight to it, locking the
bridge. Many lives depended upon this man's strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the other direction, he heard a
sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?" His
four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first
instinct was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too
close. The tiny feet would never make it across the bridge in time. The
man almost left the lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to
safety, but he realized he could not get back to the lever in time.
Either the people on the train, or his son, must die. He took just a
moment to make his decision.
The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one on board was
even aware of the tiny, broken body thrown mercilessly into the river
by the rushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of a
sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the
train had passed. They didn't see him walking home more slowly than
he had ever walked to tell his wife how he had sacrificed their son.
Now, if you can comprehend the emotions, which went through this
man's heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Heavenly
Father, when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us, and
eternal life. Can there be any wonder that he caused the earth to
tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? And how does it
feel when we speed along life without giving a thought to what was
done for us through Jesus Christ?
When was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?