There’s a little railway bridge stuck in the middle of the English countryside that is absolutely iconic. OK, so I understand that statement needs a bit of qualifying. Iconic bridges are Tower Bridge in London, Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Brooklyn Bridge in New York and Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Well that’s true enough but it’s not the railway bridge itself that’s iconic, it’s the story of what happened there.

The Bible records these words of Jesus in John’s Gospel “There is a thief who comes to steal and destroy but I have come that you might have limitless life in all its fullness” A Grand Theft takes place when we lose connection with God and attempt to live our lives independently of him, desperately searching for security, purpose and identity. So what’s the connection between those timeless words of Jesus and that s one of the old railway bridge in the English countryside? Well absolutely nothing if it wasn’t for the crime of the century carried out in the middle of the night on 8
th August 1963. The scruffy bridge is Bridego Bridge, the scene of the Great Train Robbery.

£2.6 million in used bank notes, equivalent to £50 million in today’s money was snatched from the HVP or High Value Package carriage, that formed part of the overnight Royal Mail train from Glasgow to London. The train was stopped by the gang who manipulated the signals up on the railway line before loading 120 mailbags full of cash into the back of two stolen Land Rovers and driven 25 miles to Leatherslade Farm, the prepared hideout location. They do say that crime never pays and that was certainly true for the Great Train Robbers. Within hours the biggest manhunt in British criminal history swung into action and the net closed in on the gang responsible. Most of them spent many years in prison or lived on the run as fugitives, some died prematurely while others went on to do long stretches in the slammer for subsequent crimes.

In the early weeks of the church, the disciples of Jesus were on the streets demonstrating the same love that had taken him to the cross and the same power that had raised him from the dead three days later. The Bible graphically portrays the moment Peter and John came across a disabled guy at one of the famous old gates into Jerusalem. The Jesus boys explained that they had nothing of any material value to give him. No gold or silver and no sacks of cash lying around, stolen or otherwise. But what we did have, they would share with him. At that, Peter reached out in the authority of the name of Jesus Christ and the man’s life was transformed. Incredible stuff!

Into a world that was constantly on the take, God gave, so the robbery could end and we could receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus his son. There’s and old song we used to sing in church that went like this “Lord you are more precious than silver. Lord you are more costly than gold. Lord you are more beautiful than diamonds and nothing I desire compares with you”.

The gift of personal transformation through Jesus Christ is a the most precious and costly thing in the world but it is something no one is too poor to buy. Why not humble yourself today and ask the God of Heaven to meet with you personally.

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