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March 2011 - Nr. 3

It was the time of World War II when Father Maximilian Kolbe was a prisoner in the Concentration Camp of Auschwitz. One day every 10th prisoner was to be executed due to retaliatory measure. Therefore all detainees had to line up and count up to ten. Everyone who was a 10 pronounced the sentence of death against himself. Father Kolbe was one of the many prisoners who stood in front of the guards. Right beside him was a man, a 10, whom Father Kolbe knew well. This man was married with many children. Without hesitation Maximilian Kolbe asked the chief of guard to be allowed to take the place of this man. His plea was accepted immediately and thus father Maximilian Kolbe was executed in place of the other man the same day.

What an unselfish sacrifice! I can imagine how thankful the other man was who would see his wife and children again. However, I find this incident a powerful example for the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus suffered death and gave himself as a sacrifice for humankind. Every single one of us deserves the eternal death due to our lives without God. Whenever we live our lives divided from God we do not live the purpose of our lives. God created us so that we might live in peace and harmony with him and with each other. Nevertheless, we give God the cold shoulder way too often!

Others understand that they are missing something in their lives and so they try to feed these yearnings with things that become stale and insipid over time. Then we search for the purpose of life and so often we feel threatened by the day-to-day worries. We start to feel like a number 10! At this point it is vital to recognize that there is someone who wants to switch places with us; similar to Maximilian Kolbe. It is Jesus Christ himself who offered his life for ours.

It is the season of Lent, the time before Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is a good time to reflect on the death of Christ on the cross and what this means for me. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Deutsche Evangeliumskirche

Deutsche Evangeliumskirche, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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