The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
The Sacrifice of a Son

There is an old story about a man by the name of John Griffith, who lived in Oklahoma in 1929 and lost all he had in the stock market. He moved to Mississippi where he took a job as bridge tender for a railroad trestle. In 1937 he was involved in a horrific accident. One day his 8-year-old son, Greg, spent the day with his Dad at work. He poked around the bridge-tender office and asked a myriad of questions. Then a ship came through and 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 shock, he saw his son climbing around on the gears of the draw bridge. He hurried outside to rescue his son but just then he heard what he knew was a fast-approaching passenger train, the Memphis Express, filled with over 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. And 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, he would crush his son within the gears. He made the awful decision, pulled the lever and closed the bridge. It’s said that as the train went by, John could see the faces of the passengers—-some reading, some even waving, all oblivious to the sacrifice that had just been made on their behalf.

While this story breaks our hearts, it was not the first time a father sacrificed the life of his son for the sake of others. God the Father made the ultimate sacrifice for you and me when He sent his only Son to die on the cross for our sins. Our sins cursed our lives for the punishment of eternal death that we often call hell. God created you and me in His own image, unlike all of His other creatures. I could not die for your sins because I had sins of my own. You could not die for my sins because you have your own sins. Only the perfect sinless son of the living God would make the perfect sacrifice for you and me.

While it was a tremendous act of love for Jesus to give himself for us, it took even greater sacrifice for the Father to sacrifice the life of his only Son for us.

Thus John 3:16 is powerfully illustrated: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I’m sure that there are people for whom you would sacrifice your own life, but who could you love enough to allow your own child to die in their place? But aren’t you glad God loved you that much? I’m grateful that he loved me that much.

This Sunday’s sermon will continue our march to Easter as we examine the sermon title, The Day God Died based on Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23 and John 19. Bring your friends and neighbors to show them how much God loves them and how he proved it in the most powerful way.

Leaning on His love with you,

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