The Bridge

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me;" (John 14:6)

There was once a turntable bridge that spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river parallel with the banks, to let the ships pass freely on both sides. But at certain times each day, a train would come along, and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing the train to cross.

A switchman lived in a small shack, on one side of the river, where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening, as the watchman was waiting for the last to come, he looked off into the distance, through the dimming twilight, and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped to the controls and waited until the train was within the prescribed distance before he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but to his horror, he found that the locking device did not work If the bridge was not locked securely into position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came into it, causing the train to jump the track and plunge into the river. This was a passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river and hurried across to the other side where there was a lever with which he could operate the lock manually. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on his strength.

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, came 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 impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left the lever to run, 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 little son must die.

He took just a moment to make his decision. The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one was even aware of the tiny, broken body thrown mercilessly into the river below by the onrushing train. Nor were there any passengers who were aware of the pitiful figure of a sobbing man still clinging to the lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walking home, slower than he had ever walked before, to tell his wife how he had crucified their son.

Now, if you can begin to comprehend the emotions that 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.

And how does He feel when we speed through life without a thought for what He has done for us by His Son, Jesus Christ? When was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?

Jesus Christ died for us. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." (I Peter 3:18)

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