I heard a remarkable true story this past week from one whose mother was an eyewitness in a well known event in history.
More than a half century ago, a young single British nurse served her country faithfully in WWII. She had proven herself to be a loyal and fearless nurse who witnessed the unimaginable as the wounded Britain troops were brought into the makeshift hospitals.
The nurse dressed their amputation wounds, lovingly worked to administer medication and gently swabbed the soldiers who were running high fevers. In her career, she had held the hand of many dying soldiers. This young nurse worked tirelessly because she felt a calling to the soldiers who had sacrificed for her freedom.
When the war was over, the allied countries were faced with trying those Nazi men who were merciless in their torture and execution of so many. The nurse, by some directive from British authorities above her, was asked to be an observer at one of the Nuremburg trials.
Even though the war was over, the fear of retribution from these heartless men still weighed heavily among those who had just gone through the terrible war. Yet, the young British nurse committed to be an observer.
The day came for the young nurse to fulfill her duty as an observer in the Nuremburg trials. The allied countries of Great Britain, the U.S., France, and the Soviet Union had two dozen Nazi officials charged with war crimes. The young nurse rallied her strength and put on the outfit she had reserved for serious occasions and she left her tiny apartment to be escorted miles away for the proceedings in Nuremberg.
She watched as the men on trial were escorted in to the room under tight security. Their faces of defiance caught the eyes of the witnesses. Even though guilty of terrible atrocities, they acted as those they were above the law of humanity and the law of justice. The young nurse said those men were defiant and the accumulations of the sins of the accused weighed heavy in the atmosphere in the courtroom. The verdicts: Guilty.
Another trial was held over two thousand years ago — Jesus’ trial. Yet, the accused was guilty of nothing but helping feeble humanity. Not only that, the trial was unlawful in several areas.
Jewish law said no spies could be used in criminal trials, yet Judas fit that role. Jewish law stipulated there could be no arrests or trials at night. Jesus was arrested at night.
The meeting of the Sanhedrin the next morning brought two false witnesses to testify against Jesus. Jewish law required there be two true witnesses to each fact. They could find no other witnesses.
The high priest asked Jesus to speak for himself. Under Jewish law, no prisoner could be asked to testify against himself. Jesus did state that he was the Messiah.
Jesus the accused was mocked, beaten and treated inhumanely. Through it all, He offered no defense. He stood humble and meek and cooperated with the authorities. The verdict: Guilty.
What a difference in the two types of trials. One group sat in defiance, and then the man Jesus was humble and meek. One group had the blood of millions on their hands and in then in the other trial, Jesus was the sacrifice for all humanity.
The prophet Isaiah wrote: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
The extremes are obvious and overwhelming. Jesus, the sinless one, took all our sin — even the sin of those that were tried in Nuremberg.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: