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Bridge To Life

There’s a famous bridge that spans the mighty Kwai Yai River 170 miles from Bangkok. Prisoners of war and forcibly recruited labourers died in huge numbers during its construction.The bridge footings either side of the river were cut into the rock faces. The men lowered themselves down on ropes, bored horizontally into the rock and planted dynamite charges into the holes. Once the fuse was burning it was a race against time to scurry up the ropes. Many failed to get far enough away before the charges detonated and never stood a chance.

During the summer of 1943 the Japanese guards responsible for the work on the bridge were experiencing incidents of attempted escape. They had to take great care that the tools were accounted for at the end of each shift. On one occasion the men arrived back at the camp and a shovel was found to be missing. The camp commander lined the men up against a wall and demanded its return. No one came forward so the order was given and the firing squad took aim. At the last moment one man stepped forward and was instantly executed.

A recount revealed that the shovel was not missing after all. The man had sacrificed his life to save the others. It makes perfect mathematical sense of course. One life sacrificed so that many could live, it’s not rocket science is it? Very simple until it’s personal and the one is someone that matters to us. He was someone’s son that’s for sure.

God is both father and judge. His love reaches out to us constantly but there are consequences that come from our rejection of him. It’s the reason that Jesus died in our place. It’s hard to understand that kind of sacrifice in modern society but that’s the heart of the Gospel and it comes with an invitation to us all.

“Greater love has no man than the one who lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 The Bible)
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