Once there was a big turntable bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river parallel with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the river. But at certain times each day, a train would come along, and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river to allow the train to cross.
A switchman sat in a small 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's light.
He started the controls and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position for the train to cross, and moved the lever to lock the bridge into position, but to his horror, he found the locking control didn't work.
If the bridge was not securely locked into position, it wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many persons 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 which he could use to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train passed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and took hold of the lever and leaned back 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 a distance, to his control shack came a sound which mad 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 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.
It took just a moment to make his decision. The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one was ever aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river far below, by the onrushing train. Nor were there any passengers who were aware of the pitiful figure of a sobbing man, still clinging to the lever long after the train had passed. They didn't see him walking home more slowly that he had ever walked before to tell his wife how he had sacrificed her son.
Now if you can comprehend the emotions that went through this man's heart you can begin to understand the feeling our Heavenly Father had when he sacrificed his son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that he caused the skies to darken and the earth to quake when His Son died? And how does He feel when we speed through life without a thought for what He has done for us by His Son, Jesus Christ? When was the last time you thanked Him fir the sacrifice of His Son.