Wait – before you read any further – please take a few minutes and watch this video on You Tube: Most – The Bridge.
This clip illustrates in a powerful way how the sacrifice of Jesus must have completely broken the heart of God the Father – and how Easter should also include a time of expressing our gratitude not only to Jesus, but to the Father as well.
This clip is also more than just a video. It’s actually based on the true story of a man who made that exact sacrifice. Here’s what really happened-
*The father’s name was John Griffith. He had lost all he had in the stock market crash. He moved to Mississippi where he took a job as bridge operator for a railroad trestle. In 1937 he was involved in a horrible accident. One day his 8 year-old son, Greg, spent the day with his Dad at work. The boy poked around the office and asked dozens of questions – just like little boys do. The bridge was over a river and whenever a ship came John had to open the bridge to allow the ships to pass. The day the boy was there with his father a ship was coming so John opened up the drawbridge. After a moment or two he realized his son wasn’t in the office and as he looked around, to his horror, John saw his son climbing around on the gears of the draw bridge. He hurried outside to rescue his son but just then he heard a fast approaching passenger train, the Memphis Express, filled with 400 people. He yelled to his son, but the noise of the now clearing ship and the oncoming train made it impossible for the boy to hear him. All of a sudden John Griffith realized his horrible dilemma. If he took the time to rescue his son the train would crash killing all aboard, but if he closed the bridge, the boy would be crushed in the gears. John would sacrifice his son. He made the horrible decision, pulled the lever and closed the bridge. It is said, as the train went by John could see the faces of the passengers, some reading, some even waving, all of them oblivious to the sacrifice that had just been made for them.
This week over a billion people will celebrate Easter. We celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ came back from the dead after paying the ultimate price for our sins. We celebrate the fact that salvation is available through trusting in the risen savior of the world.
But even though we celebrate, sometimes we forget. There was more than one sacrifice that was made on the hill called The Skull where Jesus hung on the Cross and poured out His life.
There was also a Daddy. He watched in heaven as His precious Son was spit on, insulted, tortured, and finally murdered by people who had no idea who they were killing. The heart of God the Father must have been shattered into a million pieces as the land grew dark and Jesus cried out to His Papa:
Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46)
That’s why this Easter you need to remember and celebrate not only the earthly side of the gospel message, but the heavenly side as well:
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)
While we were on the train, headed for destruction…while we were addicts and selfish, sinful people…while we were clueless about the destiny of eternal souls…a Daddy chose to love us and choose to let His one and only Son be crushed by the gears of Crucifixion.
On Easter Sunday, take some time to watch the video again. Let it remind you of the tragedy and triumph of that first Easter, and let it convince you that you have a heavenly Daddy that loves you too much to live without you.
Head: Easter is the time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we also need to remember how God showed His amazing love by sending Jesus to die for our sins.
Heart: Psalm 22 was written from the perspective of Jesus as He was hanging on the Cross. Read it and imagine how Jesus felt and how the Father felt as He watched Jesus suffer for us – you can read it here.
Hands: Write a note of gratitude to God the Father for sending Jesus to die for our sins.