There are some locations whose names just carry a depth of meaning. The Garden of Eden … where it all began and where we lost paradise. Pompeii … where nature’s swift and lethal destruction was shown without regard for humanity. Gettysburg … where the Civil War saw its worst in her bloodiest battle but also inspired a 271 word speech that described our nation and the test for resolve the war brought. Hiroshima … where science and warfare go to a new low, and over a quarter million lives were lost with the use of two individual weapons.
This week was the 75th anniversary of the liberation of a camp that reveals the very evil and depravity and ugliness of what man is capable. Auschwitz. A little suburb of a Polish city. Well, it’s actually more a collection of camps. Auschwitz. Where the Nazis engineered death camps that took 4 times more lives than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan did. Auschwitz. Where 1.1 million lives were taken. Auschwitz. Where mostly Jews, but others determined unworthy, were gassed. The elderly. Couples. Families. Children. No exceptions. Auschwitz.
In a powerful image, almost 200 survivors walked, or more correctly, re-walked through the gates. It has been 75 years since the camps were liberated by the Russians. Families gathered to remember.
From the writings of Anne Frank to Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, we see first hand just a glimpse into the intensity of the events that took place 75 years ago. The sober remembrance yields to a prophetic warning. We must remain vigilant to prevent such acts to be repeated by man. We must be reminded that it takes all of us to stand up against tyranny and evil.
Auschwitz. A sober remembrance. A prophetic warning.
May we remember and may we fight for each other.
But there’s also a problem. We can’t rid ourselves of the darkness. We can’t defeat the wickedness that lurks inside each of us. We just can’t … on our own that is. But Christ can change our hearts, make us new, and the Spirit empowers us for righteousness.
And it was at another location where we find the defeat of the wickedness and evil within us. A place that took all our darkness and took the punishment we were due. A place whose name was equivalent to execution … but because of one particular day that defines all of history … the name now means victory. Calvary.
There are some locations whose names just carry a depth of meaning. Calvary. Where we find victory. Calvary. Where He brings hope to those who believe. Calvary. Where God’s Grace is seen.
Calvary. A sober remembrance. A prophetic message of hope.
I hope you know and believe.
See more on the Auschwitz occasion here.