Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Cross and the Heart of the Father

My wife and I went to church last night for a Good Friday service. In a way to illustrate the pain that the Father experienced on that Friday, our pastor showed a video clip. In the Czech Republic, there was a man who operated a draw bridge. When boats would pass through, he would need to bring the drawbridge up. When trains came through, he would bring the drawbridge down.

Well, this one day, a boat was getting ready to pass through, and so he brought the bridge up. His son was fishing nearby. But as the boat was passing through, the son noticed a train - that wasn't supposed to come for another hour - was coming. The son tried to get the father's attention, but couldn't. So, the son went to manually bring down the drawbridge (by pulling a lever). By this time, the boat had come through and the father had noticed the train. And he also noticed that his son was missing. As the son was attempting to pull the lever, he fell - right into the gears of the drawbridge. If the drawbridge closes, he will be crushed.

And now the father sees that his son is stuck in the middle of the drawbridge, and the train is seconds away from a disastorous crash. He has a split second to make a decision. Hundreds of people are about to die if he doesn't kill his son.

And so, with anguish of heart, he closes the drawbridge - crushing his son in the gears - in order to save the hundreds of people on the train - who had absolutely no idea of what was happening.

The analogy breaks down because our Heavenly Father is never out of control. There was no accident. But it does serve well as an illustration of the love of the Father. Without Christ, we are by nature objects of wrath. In His holiness and justice, God was compelled to judge us and pour out wrath on us. But instead, He sent His Son to absorb the wrath for us - the just for the unjust - in order to redeem us. And just as that drawbridge operator experienced anguish of heart to kill his son in order to save the people on the train, so the Father of compassion experienced anguish of heart as His Son was killed.

Thank God for the cross of Christ.


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