Resources‎ > ‎Pastor's Blog‎ > ‎

Oskar Groning

posted Apr 30, 2015, 12:23 PM by First Baptist


Oskar Groning, age 93, is on trial in a German courtroom for complicity in the deaths of 300,000 Hungarian Jews during the summer of 1944.


Groning is known as the “Accountant of Auschwitz.” His job was to account for the money taken from Jews who were brought to the Auschwitz death camp and later exterminated.


Groning shocked the court last week when he did not deny his complicity. He told the court:


“It is beyond question that I am morally complicit. This moral guilt I acknowledge here, before the victims, with regret and humility.”


Later, he said:


“For me there’s no question that I share moral guilt. I ask for forgiveness.”


And so, there you have it: He acknowledges his guilt and asks for forgiveness. Will he receive it? SHOULD he? Remember, we’re not talking about 1 or even 2 lives – but 300,000!


Interestingly, the maximum penalty under German law, if found guilty, is 15 years in prison. Is that justice?


I would submit that only Christianity deals adequately this matter of crime, justice and forgiveness.


Biblical Christianity teaches that every one of us is “infinitely guilty of an infinite assault on the glory of God in terms of our own sinfulness,” regardless of how we might compare ourselves to others. For this, we must stand before the court of divine justice. Every person will be judged in perfect righteousness, by the One who knows all & sees all. Moreover, the punishment will exactly fit the crime; neither too harsh nor too lenient.


Deep down, this is what we want: We want a God who is holy & just. For God to be otherwise is almost too terrible to contemplate. But, we also want mercy & forgiveness. And God provides that as well through His Son Jesus Christ.


For those who acknowledge their sin (as Oskar Groning has done) and put their trust in the death, burial & resurrection of Christ (I don’t know where Groning is on this), they will be pardoned, forgiven, exonerated. Is that fair? Is that just? Yes, because no crime was overlooked or excused. Instead, the punishment was paid in full by Christ on the cross.


God’s justice & mercy come together perfectly at the cross. No other religion on the face of the earth can provide that. To my knowledge, they don’t even try.


Pastor Dan