Recently, I went to the cinema to see ‘One Life.’ It is a very moving film based upon the true story of Sir Nicholas, ‘Nicky’ Winton, a young London broker who, in the months leading up to World War II, rescued 669 mainly Jewish children from the Nazis. In 1938, Nicky visited Prague and found families who had fled the Nazis in Germany and Austria, and who were living in desperate conditions with very little or no shelter and food, under threat of Nazi invasion. Winton put himself and others at risk as they undertook this bureaucratic and complicated operation to rescue these children.
This film reminded me of the story of Corrie ten Boom. Corrie and her family helped many Jewish people escape from the Nazis during the Holocaust in World War II, by hiding them in their home. They also put themselves at great risk. The family were subsequently caught, and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Eventually, Corrie remained the only survivor in her family, her sister and father having lost their lives in order to save the lives of others. Corrie’s most famous book, The Hiding Place, is a biography that retells the remarkable story of her family’s efforts and how Corrie and her family held on to their faith and shared the good news of Jesus with others during their time of incarceration.
Similarly, on the current Alpha Course, we heard the story of a Polish Roman Catholic Priest called Maximilian Kolbe who, because he had no dependents, volunteered to take the place of family man, Franciszek Gajowniczek in the starvation bunker at the German death camp of Auschwitz, and who later died of a lethal injection. The result of this was that Gajowniczek spent the rest of his life going round the world telling the story of what Kolbe had done for him. And, in 1982, the Pope described Kolbe’s actions as ‘a victory like that one by our Lord Jesus Christ.’
As we approach Easter, let’s remember that just as Kolbe died for Gajowniczek, and others such as the ten Booms and Kolbe, risked or sacrificed their lives for the benefit of others, Jesus died on the cross for each one of us. He did this because of his great love for us and to enable the bad things we have thought, said or done in our lives to be forgiven and to allow us to continue in our Christian journey, free from guilt and shame.
So, this Easter, let’s celebrate what our risen Lord Jesus has done for each one of us. In the words of a song by Noel Richards,
You laid aside your majesty,
gave up everything for me,
suffered at the hands of those you had created.
You took all my guilt and shame,
when you died and rose again:
now today you reign,
in heaven and earth exalted.
I really want to worship you, my Lord.
You have won my heart and I am yours
for ever and ever; I will love you.
You are the only one who died for me,
gave your life to set me free,
so I lift my voice to you in adoration.
Taken from Scriptures: Psalms 18:1, Acts 2:33, Philippians 2:7, John 1:10-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:14
Copyright: © 1985 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music
Take care and God bless and Happy Easter!