An Easter Sacrifice

Paying the price for standing up to the Nazis.

If Christians had taken a stand, the Holocaust wouldn't have happened. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90
If Christians had taken a stand, the Holocaust wouldn't have happened. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90

The approach to Passover and Easter is a good time to remember the extreme bravery of German pastor Paul Schneider, who almost single-handedly stood up to Nazi brutality in the years immediately preceding World War II.

He paid with his life, murdered by lethal injection in July 1939, aged just 42, in a bid to forever silence his refusal to bow to Nazi ideology.

But, as with Bible heroes, he still speaks nearly a century on, with the Third Reich long since crumbled to dust.

His last months were spent in the notorious Buchenwald Concentration Camp, where he was repeatedly beaten and tortured. Yet, from his cell window, he accused his captors and encouraged his fellow inmates.

On Easter Sunday, when thousands of prisoners were assembled for mustering, he defied his severe handicap inflicted by torture as he climbed to his cell window and shouted: “Comrades, listen to me. This is Pastor Schneider. People are tortured and murdered here. So the Lord says, ‘I am the resurrection and the life!’”

Schneider refused to compromise or accommodate Nazi influence in the church, challenging: “Where are those Christian consciences who judge righteously, who take the standard for their politics neither from National Socialism nor from socialism, but rather from the gospel?”

The Holocaust could have been avoided if the German church had stood as one against Nazism in the way Schneider did. Instead, we’re still reaping the whirlwind sown by such spineless betrayal of our Lord and his gospel as we try to convince Jewish survivors that it wasn’t Christians who sent them to the camps.

Similarly today, some are bravely holding out in the face of the wicked world of wokery (the new form of witchcraft) bulldozing its way through the foundations of our morality. A British Bible College professor has been summarily dismissed from a once highly esteemed evangelical institution for rightly calling out the same-sex marriage agenda, tweeting: “If sin is no longer sin, we no longer need a Saviour.” Father-of-five Dr. Aaron Edwards was even threatened with a counter-terrorism referral.

If the rest of the UK church followed his example, the poisonous effects of worldly wokery would soon be healed. The Bible warns us not to be ‘yoked together’ with unbelievers, but to “come out from among them and be separate” and “touch no unclean thing” (2 Corinthians 6:17, Isaiah 52:11).

Paul the Apostle adds that we should have nothing to do with those having a form of godliness while denying its power (2 Timothy 3:5). He further predicts that the teaching of those who do not correctly handle the word of truth will spread like gangrene (see 2 Timothy 2:14-17), a pretty disgusting but thoroughly apt image in view of the rainbow flag-waving crowds determined that we should all accept homosexual and other vile practices as entirely normal.

But there is a better way. Those protesting against the Israeli government’s judicial reform proposals were received with evident graciousness by the Orthodox residents of Bnei Brak. The Bible-believers were meeting aggression and false teaching with love and truth, handing out food and drink while dancing and rejoicing before the Lord. A sight to really savour was the video of the motorcyclist who took off his helmet to join in the singing, lifting his hands in worship as his tear-stained face glowed with apparent ecstasy.

I pray this marks a turning point in the hearts of God’s ancient people – and the Gentile world they have been called to bless. I know this was Tel Aviv, but the biblical call to pray for the peace of neighbouring Jerusalem has never been so urgent.

Could this be a glimpse, or even a trailer, of that glorious day when “all Israel shall be saved” and they look on the One they have pierced and grieve for him as they would for an only child and a first-born son (Romans 11:26, Zechariah 12:10)?

I conclude where I started, with another challenging story from the Nazi era. An elderly lady has found shalom in Messiah after sharing her story from life in the ghettos.

She told how the Nazis wanted to shoot her father, but she threw herself upon him and said, ‘Shoot me instead.’ The sight of a child being prepared to die for her father softened the Nazis’ hearts and they let him go.

A companion then told her that, just as she was prepared to die in her father’s place, so God gave his beloved Son to die in her place. She duly accepted Yeshua into her life and found the shalom for which every Jew longs.



Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon; Peace in Jerusalem, available from; To the Jew FirstA Nation Reborn, and King of the Jews, all available from Christian Publications International.



Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!


/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member


/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months

every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

2 responses to “An Easter Sacrifice”

  1. 037 says:

    Beautiful document. Thank you.
    Please Jesus, come quickly.

  2. Disciple 1978 says:

    After the first Passover the Lord first reminds His people in the 1st Commandment of who redeemed them, “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt..” When He made a new covenant with his people (Jer 31:31) He again made it a memorial of His redemption. (Matt 26:28) In both covenants he reproves mankind for their inherent sin because they make themselves god and won’t believe in Him in a way that makes Him Lord of their life. He convicts them of righteousness because His life was so pleasing to God that God resurrected Him. (John 16:8-11) He convicts them of judgement because the god of this world, the devil, was judged when HaShem became a last Adam and took God’s judgement for sin upon Himself, thereby dispossessing Satan of the dominion he’d wrested from man. Christ became the Passover Lamb for mankind, (1 Cor 5:7) first the Jew then the Gentile. If only the rabbis and ministers would teach this we’d see a lot more Jews and Gentiles redeemed.

Leave a Reply

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter