One summer day in 1937 John Griffith, controller of a railroad drawbridge across the Mississippi, took Greg, his eight-year-old son with him to work. About noon, John raised the bridge to let some ships pass while he and Greg ate their lunch on the observation deck. At 1.07 p.m. John heard the distant whistle of the Memphis Express. He had just reached for the master lever to lower the bridge for the train, when he looked around for his son Greg. What he saw made his heart freeze. Greg had left the observation tower, slipped and fallen into the massive gears that operated the bridge. His left leg was caught in the cogs of the two main gears.
With the Memphis Express steaming closer, fear and anxiety gripped John as his mind searched for options, but there were only two. He must either sacrifice his son and spare the passengers on the Memphis Express, or sacrifice them to spare his son.
Burying his face in his left arm, John, with an anguished cry, pulled the master switch with his right hand to lower the bridge into place.
Lord knows what anguish John Griffith had to go through, whichever decision he made. But I know this: God values us enough to sacrifice his Son that we too might live.
‘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.’
(Taken from a sermon by Pastor Ian Sweeny which won The Times Preacher of the Year Award 1998.)