Friday, April 14, 2006

Sacrifice...

It was Good Friday, back in the years during Hitler's regime.

In the German concentration camps like Auschwitz and Dachau, two female prisoners succeeded in escaping. It was very difficult, but they did.

When the Nazis found out they had escaped, they ordered all other female prisoners to stand in a row. A Nazi officer passed through the row and counted, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine-- you, step out from the row. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine," and again the tenth was taken out. Every tenth person was removed from the line to be killed.

One of those who had to come out from the row was a Jewess. She was also a communist. The Nazis hated the communists as much as they hated the Jews. They kept communists in prison.

When she was ordered to step out, she began to weep and pleaded, "Please, please have mercy on me. I have a little child."

"What do we care for a dirty Jewish child? Come out!"

Next to her stood Mary, who was a Russian Christian. The Nazis killed not only Jews and gypsies, but also the French and Russians. They also killed Germans who did not agree with Hitler.

An inner voice told Mary to "step forward and say that you wish to die in her place." She replied to the inner voice: "Why? She is not a Christian. She is a Jewish communist. The communists are as bad as the Nazis. When the Nazis are overthrown and the communists come to power, they will do the same thing. I won't give my life for a communist."

The inner voice said: "On a day like this, I died not for the good ones but for the bad ones, for sinners. Someone must die innocently. You step forward and say that you wish to die in her place."

She did. She stepped forward and said, "I wish to die."

It was such an amusement for the Nazi officers. They made jokes among themselves. "If you are so stupid to die in her place, all right, you come forward. Her turn will also come." They took her to the ovens where they burned prisoners after they killed them and threw her in.

Very soon after this, the Nazis lost the war. The Americans and the English occupied these camps and arrested all the Nazi officials. They prisoners talked about what happened with Mary. On the way to the burning oven, she had told the Nazis: "When God took His people out from slavery in Egypt, it is written in our Bible that He walked before them in a column of fire. I pray to God that when my body burns, it would be a column of fire which will show you the way to God. You come to God. I love you, and God loves you; and may my burning body serve you with this thought."

She went to her death.

The Voice of the Martyrs

"For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps...
Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return;
when He suffered, He did not threaten,
but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously."
1 Peter 2:21, 23

2 comments:

Ryebread said...

Hi Bethany! I guess another lurker just surfaced today too! :-)

That post truly is a picture of the love of Christ! “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
I know from being in Russia, and reading biographies of Russian Christians, that they have such a deep love and commitment for Christ. Sadly enough, the American culture is creeping in, and many of the churches are dying, but the ones that are still strong have an amazing testimony of faithfulness; not only in the terrors of communistic torture, but also in the face of rising materialism and apathy in the church. It is always amazing and a blessing to read a biography that encourages us and strengthens us to "keep on keeping on," even if it means death. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
Thank you again, Bethany for the encouragement! Keep looking up to Jesus!

In Him,
Ryan

--
“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.” Psalms 89:15

abi said...

What a sacrifice! It is such a challenging story! Would I do that for someone, especially a lost soul?! What a powerful testimony of love, and yet to think that His love for me is GREATER than that!! Wow! We truly do serve an awesome God! For it was my sin that sent Him there, and my wrong that drove Him there! What sacrifice...what love! Do I live in the light of that love? If I do, am I then willing to lay down my life for another?? Laying down is a giving up of my will, and submitting to anothers. Jesus did, but will I? If we are fully trusting Him, and His love we should!

Thank you for sharing the story, I was gripped, and challenged!