4. The bridge operator

USA - 1937 Greg's dad was a bridge operator. His job was to operate the railroad bridge that crossed the city's main river. When Greg was eight years old, his father allowed him to come along and spend a day at work with him. For young Greg, witnessing the functioning of the bridge was very interesting. During their lunch break, Greg's dad all of a sudden heard a train's whistle. He jumped up and said, “Greg, you stay here, while I run upstairs to push the button that makes the bridge come down.” He had just pushed the button that set all the wheels in motion, when he heard his son's loud scream from below. “Dad, help me!” The bridge operator hadn't noticed his son had followed him up the stairs, where he then lost his balance... Now he was slipping closer and closer towards the grinding gears of the bridge's machinery.

His mind was racing. Would he save his son by pushing the button again, to keep the bridge in it's upper position? Or...... Then he thought of the four hundred passengers on the train. He had to make a decision. He had to save either his son or the people on the train, who would otherwise perish in the river below. While he was still thinking through this dilemma, his son screamed again. The father knew he could not listen to his father's heart now; he had to save the people on the train. It was the most agonizing decision, but he had no choice. He must let his own son die. He could hear Greg's dying screams as he was swallowed up by the cogs of the bridge. His heart was crushed. He wailed.

The train passed by. In one car he saw a sleeping man. In another car people were talking and laughing. He saw playing children running back and forth. He wanted to run up to their window and scream, “People! Children! Don't you know my son gave his life for this?” But the train passengers had no idea of what had just occurred below. They were all going about their own business, and the train continued it's journey, as if nothing had ever happened.

No one in the train realized how great a sacrifice the bridge operator had made to save their lives. In a similar way, we cannot understand the magnitude of the sacrifice of God the Father, when He allowed His Son to die on that cross at Golgotha, to save all the people on the railroad called life from a certain eternal death.

A thought to ponder on your own
Read John 3:16. Do you believe God gave His Son to die on the cross for you? Imagine how much grief and sorrow it must bring to God if you are unwilling to accept the sacrifice of His Son. Or do you not understand how high the price has been? Do you live as if nothing ever happened?


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