There’s a bridge spanning the Joint Security Area which crosses the Military Demarcation Line between North and South Korea. It called the “Bridge of No Return.” The name refers to prisoner exchange at the end of the Korean War in 1953. There were two prisoner exchanges across the Bridge of No Return in 1953. These exchanges were known as Operation Little Switch and Operation Big Switch.
These exchanges were agreed upon during the truce talks at Panmunjom on April 11, 1953. The United Nations returned 75,823 Prisoners of War. The Communists repatriated 12,773 troops (3,597 were Americans). Prisoners were given a final ultimatum before they were brought to the bridge for repatriation. The North Korean captors demanded that they could either remain in the north or cross the bridge to return to their homeland. However, once they chose to cross the bridge, they would never be allowed to return, even if they later changed their minds.
God’s enemy becomes his ally
A man crossed the “Bridge of No Return” on his way to Damascus many years ago in the Bible. His name was Saul. Saul was a violent persecutor of Jesus’ church. He hated Christians so badly that he orchestrated the death of the first martyr in the New Testament. He didn’t stop at killing Christians in his hometown. He made sure that he took this violence on the road. As he was traveling to Damascus with the authority to round up Christians and take them prisoner, Jesus met him!
This is the moment that Saul saw the light- literally (Acts 9:3). Jesus blinded him with a great light and radically changed Saul’s future. Saul, the great enemy of God, became one of the greatest voices for Jesus in the New Testament!
Can you be too far gone from God?
The story about Saul’s transformation should encourage you. If God can get a hold of the heart of a guy like this Palestinian terrorist named Saul, God can grab anyone’s heart. Do you have a friend who is living a wicked lifestyle? Are you related to a family member who seems to be far from God? Don’t give up hope on them. Keep on talking to them about Jesus. Let the story of Saul remind you no one is too far gone for God to reach.
Step across the Bridge of No Return
Saul stepped across the “Bridge of No Return” and became Paul, the Apostle. Changed by Jesus, Paul never again looked back to his old life as a Pharisee. He suffered greatly for the message of the gospel, yet he was willing to continue to represent Jesus to kings and emperors.
Have you crossed that “Bridge of No Return?” Have you surrendered your soul to Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If so, don’t look back on your old life. There’s nothing back there for you. It’s easy to follow Jesus when life is going well, but when life gets hard, the temptation to turn from your faith can become great.
Faith in Jesus is a “Bridge of No Return.” Once you step across that bridge, there’s no turning back. God rewards those who take the courageous step of faith and cross the “Bridge of No Return.” No matter how challenging your circumstances are right now, remember that Jesus’ spirit is with you right now. He is a shepherd who is willing to lead you through the valley of the shadow of death. And his greatest reward is one day all God’s children will cross a bridge from which there is no return, the bridge of death. Jesus is waiting for his people on the other side. That’s a bridge I can’t wait to cross. What about you?