There was once a bridge that spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. 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 it. A switchman sat in a 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 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 lights. He stepped onto the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance. Then he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position, it would cause 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 bridge turned across the river and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river, where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually.
He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he 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 this man’s strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, 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 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 his lever to snatch up his son and carry him to safety. But he realised that he could not get back to the lever in time if he saved his son. Either many people on the train or his own son – must die.
He took but a moment to make his decision.
The train filled with humanity sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the on rushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing father, still clinging to the locking lever long after the train had passed.
They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked; to tell his wife how their son had brutally died. This train of lost humanity speeds along and many not being aware that a precious gift has been made available to them because of a Son who chose the cross, instead of us having to pay the price for our sins. He swapped His righteousness for our sins. Now that’s a gift.
On this train people are dealing with issues in their lives such as health, relationships, finance as well as the world they are in such as the economy, Ukraine, politics, Covid and many other areas of concern for people. These are all legitimate concerns, and yet all the while this train is speeding along to a final destination. There was just one original destination but due this incredible act of love from God’s Only Son, there is now an alternative destination.
At that stop, you won’t hear the words ‘Mind the gap’, instead you will hear ‘well done thy good and faithful servant’