June 1 – Trip to the Holy Land – The Holocaust Museum

DAY 20 – THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

Theme – Depravity

Read Romans 3:10-26

Yad Vashem Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Israel.

A visit to Israel is incomplete without a tour of the Holocaust Museum, called Yad Vashem. The museum depicts the rise and fall of Nazi Germany throughout Europe during World War II.

During those days Hitler and his henchmen directed their hatred against God’s people, the Jews. Cities like Dachau, Birkenbau and Treblinka will be forever linked with the heartache, brutality, and agony of the Jews. More than 6 million Jews were slaughtered during those horrific days, including 1 million children.  Another 6 million also died at the hands of the Nazis.

As you walk the halls of the museum, you see photos, letters, maps, and videos which all describe the agony of those moments. It’s hard to leave without being depressed because of the tragic events portrayed within those walls.

Many times, visitors are tempted to ask, “How could anyone do this?  What did the Jews do to deserve this?  What could anyone do to deserve this kind of treatment?”  There is only one answer:  The depravity of the human heart breeds this kind of hatred.

The Apostle Paul paints this graphic picture in Romans: “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. There is no fear of God before their eyes. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:12,18, 23 -NIV).

We are all born rebels. I was born that way. So were you. You don’t have to teach a two-year-old to stand defiantly before a 200-pound adult and say, “No!“ It comes naturally! Jeremiah wrote that “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can know it?“ (Jeremiah 17:9 – NIV).

Apart from the limitless mercy and grace of God, every one of us is capable of the most heinous crimes! But God in His mercy offers help. He alone offers to justify us “freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24 – NIV).

Whatever you may have done in your past… Whatever pain you might have created for others and for yourself… No matter how hopeless your life might seem… There is hope in Jesus. You can be forgiven! When you place your faith in what Jesus has done for you through his death on the cross, you can experience a new life and become a trophy of His love for you.

Prayer of reflection:   Father, help me to identify the dark places in my own life that create havoc for me and those around me.  I claim Your forgiveness based on Your mercy and grace available through Christ.

Bob Fetterhoff

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