The Love Heard ‘Round the World

In 2019, the younger brother of a man who was shot by a former Dallas Police officer stunned the world when, instead of condemning Botham Jean’s killer for shooting him in his own apartment by mistake, said something so outrageous, so ridiculous, so weird, that he must have been an authentic believer in Jesus Christ.

What did Brandt Jean say to Amber Guyger in the courtroom after she was sentenced to ten years in prison for murder?

“I hope you go to God with all the guilt, all the bad things you may have done in the past…if you truly are sorry…I forgive you, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you. I love you just like anyone else. I personally want the best for you. I don’t even want you to go to jail; I want the best for you. And the best would be to give your life to Christ. I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do. Again, I love you…and I don’t wish anything bad on you.”

What Brandt said was nothing short of supernatural. It makes no human sense at all. Unconditional forgiveness? That’s crazy!

King Louis of France said, “Nothing smells so sweet as the dead body of your enemy.”

Author Heinrich Heine declared, “We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.”

Forgiveness is not natural, yet nothing characterizes the new nature of a born-again believer more than forgiveness, because nothing characterized the nature of our Lord and Savior more than forgiveness.

As Jesus hung on the cross—nailed there, hands and feet—after being scourged, beaten and mocked for crimes he did not commit, his last words to his murderers were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24)

“Forgive”: to give up resentment against or the desire to punish; to stop being angry with; to pardon. To give up all claim to punish; to overlook.

That’s what Brandt Jean did.

That’s what an Amish community did in 2006 when a shooter killed ten young girls execution-style in their own one room schoolhouse.

On Hitler, Auschwitz and Forgiveness

Hitler, to no one’s regret, killed his chicken self on this day in 1945. Satan’s servant failed miserably in his quest to complete his Final Solution and is now in the presence of God’s wrath for all eternity.

Now meet Agnes Kun an Auschwitz survivor, imprisoned in Hitler’s death camp when she was 18.

My girls and I met her yesterday at the Museum of Tolerance Museum. I gave her a Trillion Dollar Bill Gospel tract and asked her to what she  attributed her survival to. 

“Luck,” she replied.

I then explained to her that it was not luck at all, but it was God who spared her. I then requested that she read the information on the back of the tract so that she may learn of her Messiah, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, Jesus, the Messiah.

Corrie Ten Boom was a prisoner in Ravensbruck, another horrible concentration camp, a camp where she witnessed her sister’s death.  She attributed her survival to Jesus Christ.

The greatest test of her faith would be played out a few years after her release, when after a speaking engagement, a former guard at the camp, came up to congratulate her on her inspiring talk. Here’s the account:

“It was in a church in Munich that I saw him—a balding, heavyset man in a gray overcoat, a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken, moving along the rows of wooden chairs to the door at the rear. It was 1947 and I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives.

“It was the truth they needed most to hear in that bitter, bombed-out land, and I gave them my favorite mental picture. Maybe because the sea is never far from a Hollander’s mind, I liked to think that that’s where forgiven sins were thrown. ‘When we confess our sins,’ I said, ‘God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever. …’

“The solemn faces stared back at me, not quite daring to believe. There were never questions after a talk in Germany in 1947. People stood up in silence, in silence collected their wraps, in silence left the room.

“And that’s when I saw him, working his way forward against the others.