Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

The Switchman

The Switchman

switchman swing bridge


There was a man who worked for the railway as a switchman. He lived at the edge of a river, alongside the tracks. The river had a swinging railway bridge that remained open most of the time to let the ships go through. When a train came, the control office would radio ahead to the switchman, who would go out to his little switching shack at the side of the tracks, to sound the horn to stop shipping, and swing the bridge into place so the passenger train could cross. This happened twice a day, and became a routine for everyone involved. Some days, the switchman would allow his three-year-old son to sit in the shack with him, gently holding him on his knee, while he operated the levers. When the afternoon passenger train arrived, together they would hold hands at the side of the tracks and wave at the passengers as the huge train thundered across the bridge. The father loved his son, and they loved to spend time together.

As time went on, the bridge began to decay, and the locking mechanism on the far side of the river began to malfunction. When this happened, the switchman could walk across the bridge, and put his shoulder into a huge lever, that manually locked the bridge in place. One day, as usual, the switchman got the radio call announcing the afternoon passenger express. In the prescribed fashion, he sounded the foghorns stopping the shipping traffic, and activated the switch to swing the huge old bridge into place. Slowly, it swung across the river, and as had happened before, it refused to lock into place. Looking around, the man saw no sign of his little boy, so he began the walk across the river to manually lock the bridge. As he proceeded across, he heard the train whistle, coming around the bend. “I’m not moving as fast as usual,” he thought, but there was still time. He began to hurry, reaching the other side, as the train came into view barreling down the tracks. Sweating, catching his breath, he sighed “Phew, made it”. As he grabbed hold of the lever, he realized the train was close now, but he still had time. As he put his shoulder behind the lever, he heard a sound that made his blood curl. “Daddy”. In horror, he looked up to see his son walking across the tracks to be with him. The train was pounding on, and suddenly, he realized there was no time to do anything. He had to make a decision. Either lock the bridge, and have the train make it across safely, or leave it unlocked, and have the train plummet into the river, in which case his own son would surely die. With a cry of anguish, he flung the lever into place, and the hurtling train instantly crushed his son beneath its weight. He fell to his knees, crushed beneath the horror of what he’d done. The train conductor and the passengers stood up to wave, totally oblivious to the kneeling, weeping man at the side of the tracks. The train went on its way, and the man picked up the broken, crushed body of his son, and headed home to tell his wife.


Picture if you will the anguish of that man as he carried the body of his son back across that bridge that night. That is a picture of the heart of Father God, when another Son died for you and for me, 2000 years ago on a cross. His anguish caused the earth to split, and the sky to become as black as night. How many of us, are like the passengers on that train, oblivious to the incredible price that was paid for each of our lives when Jesus died on the cross in our stead.

The question now is simple: How comfortable are you with your neighbor going to hell?

Jesus is the only way to heaven, there is no other way to be forgiven our sins…

Perhaps, you are the only one they might listen to, please tell them.

I’m going to make it really easy for you: Simply cut and paste this link, and send it to them….

The Gospel – The Power of God!

switchman you are