Solomon Rosenberg, his wife, his two sons, and his mother and father were arrested and placed in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust of World War II. It was a labor camp, and the rules were simple: "As long as you can do the work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, you will be exterminated."
Rosenberg watched his mother and father being marched off to their deaths when they became too weak to work. He knew that his youngest son, David, would be next because he had always been a frail child.
Every evening when Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of labor, he would search the faces for his family. When he found them, they would huddle together, embrace one another and thank God for another day of life.
One day Rosenberg came back, but he didn't see those familiar faces. He finally discovered his older son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping and praying. He said, "Josh, tell me it's not true."
Joshua turned and said, "It's true, Poppa. Today David was not strong enough to do his work so they came for him."
"But where is your mother?" Rosenberg asked.
The reply was simple. "When they came for David, he was afraid, and he was crying. Momma said, 'There's nothing to be afraid of, David.' Then she took his hand and went with him."
Few things are as strong as the love of a mother for her children, a love so strong that she would choose to give up life so her child could be comforted.
This love pictures the sacrificial love of Jesus for us. In order to take away the fear of death, He went before us (Hebrews 2:14, 15). He met death head on; in fact, He died for us to give us hope of eternal life (Ephesians 1:7, I Thessalonians 5:10).
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:55-57).
James Bruster is pastor at the Church of Christ in Port Aransas.