The sacrifice

Watch MOST–The Bridge from Youtube.

This powerful clip illustrates how the sacrifice of Jesus must have completely broken the heart of God, and how Easter should also include a time of expressing our gratitude not only to Jesus, but to God the Father as well. According to an e-mail my sister forwarded to me, this clip is actually based on the true story of a man who made that exact sacrifice. What 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, his 8-year-old son, Greg, spent the day with his Dad at work. The boypoked 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.

Whether it’s true or not, it’s an illustration not unlike the sacrifice God made by sending His son to pay the ultimate price for our sins. Sometimes we forget what Easter is really about, we get caught up in decorating eggs, hiding candy and looking forward to spring. But not only did Jesus give His life on that cross, but his Father watched it all happen from heaven.

While we were on the “train,” headed for destruction–as selfish, sinful people, unaware of our what our eternal future truly holds–our Father showed His amazing love for us by sending His one and only
Son be crushed by the “gears” of Crucifixion.

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8


2 thoughts on “The sacrifice

  1. This was one of the campfire stories my Dad used to tell at camp. Matt would probably remember it too. I always thought it was a great “real life” story for when the Easter story becomes too familiar.

  2. Hi

    I heard this story first at an Alpha course, and several years later wanted to use it in a youth group setting, I just put in Google “man sacrifices his son in train crash” and it came up, top of the list, thanks, I was having a hard day and this has cheered me up! I hope it works well with our youth.

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