The Twisted Cross
I was in 10th grade U.S. History class when we got to the chapter on World War II and learned about Hitler and the Nazis. To me, the Second World War was just a misty history that happened a decade before I was born.
I knew my grandfather had been a major in the military, stationed in the South Pacific, and that he was gone during my father’s formative years. I knew Jewish people were killed and that a young girl named Anne Frank had written a diary. Beyond that, there was not much I knew or cared about.
Then one day my history teacher had a projector set up for a film. Good, I thought. A movie. I can relax for 45 minutes, and it will be an easy class!
There was no relaxing, and today I still remember it vividly.
The movie was called The Twisted Cross. It was the ghastliest thing I had ever seen. Tears ran down my cheeks. I saw piles of bodies that were Jewish people. And they weren’t just “killed.” It was hundreds of times worse. It was a mass destruction that was senseless and cruel and beyond my ability to comprehend. I knew every one of them was loved by someone. They were all someone’s mother or father or brother or sister or grandparent or favorite uncle or aunt. And there were children. How could this be?
I sat at my desk and cried. I bent forward so no one could see my tears. I thanked God that I had long hair so I could hide my cheeks and eyes. I was afraid my shoulders would shake. I was afraid my classmates would see me wiping my tears away.
I was ashamed that day to be a Gentile. I asked my father that night about what I had seen, and he told me it was the Holocaust. It sounded like a made-up word because I had never even heard it before. But it sounded exactly like what it meant: catastrophe, agony, devastation, and horror. And it happened to people chosen to be the special treasure of God Himself. I didn’t understand.
To be touched with suffering that medicine or ointments or even loving hearts of precious loved ones cannot reach must be the worst agony of all. And yet the Jewish people live. What grace God gives to those who hurt.
How I wish every person could take his or her suffering and run to the dear Lord Jesus Christ who has felt all this grief, pain, and rejection Himself—especially the special race that God has chosen, the Jewish people, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed.
My family is blessed. Blessed this day and all days. Blessed even after death to be forever with God. Blessed because Jesus our Deliverer came through the nation of Israel.
This all came back to me in 2014 when I attended the Shepherds’ Gathering at The Friends of Israel (FOI) headquarters in New Jersey. Steve Herzig, FOI’s director of North American Ministries, told of going to Hebrew school and hearing that all Gentiles hated him.
Then I remembered The Twisted Cross. I remembered the piles of bodies. But now I was seeing a face and hearing the voice of someone alive who represented them. The tears started rolling down my face again. I didn’t want to be a guest and sit in that lovely room and weep. I didn’t want to embarrass myself or my good husband; but the tears would not stop.
I was not among those who hated this man’s race. I had always loved the Jewish people because of what I had learned in the Bible.
How can anyone who loves the Lord Jesus hate the Jewish people? How can you go to Sunday school and church and listen to sermons and rejoice in your “so great…salvation” (Heb. 2:3) and sing hymns and worship and hate the Jewish people? The same God who chose the Jews has invited Gentiles into His Kingdom also.
How can true believers despise the people who brought them our Lord Jesus and salvation and beauty and truth and the laws for all true civilized behavior?
Over the years I’ve gotten myself into trouble by standing for what I knew was true and right, but I’ve never regretted it. I am honored to say that I stand with the Jewish people now and will stand with them forever. How I thank God for His Chosen People and His marvelous grace in preserving them.