Pictures are powerful. Sometimes they capture something nearly impossible to adequately describe with words. The above picture was taken at the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Little is said in the description about this man. He just sits there crying, touching the very tracks that 75 years ago rolled in carts full of people destined to be murdered. He sits at the place where one of the greatest atrocities ever has taken place. He sits there with any number of moments coursing through his mind. Maybe he had friends killed here. Perhaps he had family members murdered in this very camp. Depending on his age, it’s possible even he at one point was imprisoned here. No matter what is happening inside this man, thinking about the Holocaust is heart wrenching.
The above picture was taken at the annual “March of the Living.” This event takes place on May 5th in Poland and Israel to remember the Holocaust. Flowers were laid on people’s names at the Holocaust memorials. Marches took place through the city streets. At a particular moment in time, a siren blared and people throughout these countries stood in silence to respect those who were murdered. One picture even shows modern day prisoners and guards standing side-by-side in silent respect (See It Here).
The events that took place during the Holocaust are indescribable. We have pictures, we have numbers, we even have personal stories of those who lived it, but except for those who were there, it is impossible to fully imagine and understand. But that is exactly why this is a day to remember and memorialize. There is value in thinking upon the unfathomable actions that took place. There is significance in thinking about the dark places people will go when evil and corrupt leaders stand in power. There is importance in remembering what happened, even if we can’t fully fathom it, simply so we don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Many horrific events have taken place throughout time. All are indescribable, but there is none greater than the one that took place about 2000 years ago. Our Lord and Savior was brutally betrayed, beaten, hung on the cross, and murdered. The amazing significance of this event is one that, like the holocaust, is nearly impossible to fully fathom. But again, this is exactly why it’s so important that we remember it.
Thankfully we get the opportunity to do so every single week at the Lord’s Supper. In His wisdom, Christ instituted this part of worship so we would continue to think and memorialize the events of that day. If you’re like me, even though I sit there trying to fully imagine the events of that day, it’s hard to do it justice, but it’s always worth it to try. I think about the words He spoke and what each part of Communion represents (Luke 22:14-20). I think about Christ’s innocence and the horrific callousness of the people (Luke 23:20-25). I think about the excruciating pain He endured (John 19). I think about how the people finally succeeded in murder as He breathed His last words, “It is finished” (John 19:30). That wasn’t the end though. The best part about this memorial is the fact that Jesus didn’t stay in the grave; He arose from the dead (John 20). Now He sits at God’s throne until the day He returns (Mark 16:19).
Every facet of this event is amazing, especially since this sacrifice opened the door for us to be saved from our sins (Acts 2:36-38). Every Sunday we have the privilege to remember what Christ did for us. It’s worth remembering.
Christ’s love. God’s plan. Salvation. Sacrifice. Redemption. Forgiveness. Heaven. Like the events at the cross, every wonderful blessing and privilege we receive because of Christ can be summed up in that same word – indescribable. And I’m alright with it being this way. It just gives us that much more to think about, praise God for, and look forward to.