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Jewish Woman Hears of the Suffering Yeshua

John Lennox (an author and professor of mathematics at Oxford University) tells a story about touring Eastern Europe and meeting a Jewish woman from South Africa. The woman told Lennox that she was researching how her relatives had perished in the Holocaust. At one point on their guided tour, they passed a display that had the following words written on it: Arbeit macht frei" (or "work makes free"). It was a mock-up of the main gate to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The display also had pictures of the horrific medical experiments carried out on children by the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele. At that point of their tour, the Jewish woman turned to Lennox and said, "And what does your religion make of this?"

Lennox writes:

What was I to say? She had lost her parents and many relatives in the Holocaust. I could scarcely bear to look at the Mengele photographs, because of the sheer horror of imagining my children suffering such a fate. I had nothing in my life that remotely paralleled the horror her family had endured.
But still she stood in the doorway waiting for an answer. I eventually said, "I would not insult your memory of your parents by offering you simplistic answers to your question. What is more, I have young children and I cannot even bear to think how I might react if anything were to happen to them, even if it were far short of the evil that Mengele did. I have no easy answers; but I do have what, for me at least, is a doorway into an answer."
"What is it?" she said.
I said, "You know that I am a Christian. That means that I believe that Yeshua is the messiah. I also believe that he was God incarnate, come into our world as savior, which is what his name 'Yeshua' means. Now I know that this is even more difficult for you to accept. Nevertheless, just think about this question—if Yeshua was really God, as I believe he was, what was God doing on a cross?
"Could it be that God begins just here to meet our heartbreaks, by demonstrating that he did not remain distant from our human suffering, but became part of it himself? For me, this is the beginning of hope; and it is a living hope that cannot be smashed by the enemy of death. The story does not end in the darkness of the cross. Yeshua conquered death. He rose from the dead; and one day, as the final judge, he will assess everything in absolute fairness, righteousness, and mercy."
There was silence. She was still standing, arms outstretched, forming a motionless cross in the doorway. After a moment, with tears in her eyes, very quietly but audibly, she said: "Why has no one ever told me that about my messiah before?"

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