Once there was a turntable bridge that spanned a large river to allow ships and badges to pass. At a certain time of day, a train would come and the bridge would be turned side-ways across the river to allow the train to pass. A watchman sat in a small shed on one side of the river, where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place, to allow the train to cross.
One evening while he was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off in the distance through the dimming twilight, caught sight of the train’s light and he stepped to the controls and waited until the train was at the prescribed distance, when he was to turn the bridge into position, but to his horror, he found that the locking mechanism was not working. If the bridge did not lock securely into position, the bridge would wobble back and forth at the end when the train came on it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people on board. He left the bridge turned across the river and hurried across it to get to the other side of the river where there was a lever he could use to lock the rails manually. He could hear the rumble of the train as he took hold of the lever, leaned backwards to apply pressure to it locking the bridge. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.
Then coming across the bridge from the control shed, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. “Daddy! 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 his son – run! Run! – but the train was too close, the tiny legs would never make it across the track in time. The man almost left the lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety, but he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his son must die. He took just a moment to make his decision. (Pause)
The train sped swiftly and safely on its way. No-one on board was aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the lever till the train had passed. They did not see him walking home more slowly than he ever walked, to tell his wife that he sacrificed her son. Now if you can 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. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the sky to darken when His Son died, and how does he 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 life?