The Man Next Door
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. GALATIANS 2:20
Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes once interviewed Yehiel Dinur, a Holocaust survivor and witness at the Nuremberg trials. During the show, Wallace played a 1961 clip of Dinur walking into the Israeli courtroom where Adolf Eichmann was on trial. A principal architect of the Holocaust, Eichmann had evaded capture for years but had finally been found and brought to justice.
As Dinur spied Eichmann for the first time in 18 years—he had last seen the German mastermind at Auschwitz, the notorious death camp—he stopped still in his tracks. He began to sob uncontrollably. He fainted and collapsed to the floor.
Was he overcome by hatred? Fear? Horrid memories? Actually, as he said later, it was none of these. What overwhelmed Dinur was this: Suddenly he realized Eichmann was not the godlike army officer who had sent so many to their cruel deaths.
Adolf Eichmann was just an ordinary man.
Wallace captured it best when he asked, “How is it possible for a man to act as Eichmann did? Was he a monster? A madman? Or was he perhaps something even more terrifying—was he normal?”
“Eichmann,” Dinur said, “is in all of us.”
This hard truth about ourselves is difficult to swallow. If not for fear of consequences or a liking for our own reputation or the healing flow of God’s grace, we are capable of anything.
May the Lord keep us from ever believing that our goodness is something we’ve worked up from within. May we realize again that whatever goodness lives in us is the goodness of God shining through . . . the One who gave His Son to give us life. And to save us from ourselves.
What evidence exists in you that we are all born sinful and self-centered and are in desperate need of Christ?
Ask God to reveal again the full extent of His salvation. Thank God for His redemption, not only from hell, but also from being enslaved to self.