To Start a New Life



to_sta1Over half a century ago, to be precise: in July 1950, Adolph Eichmann fled to Argentina. RC priests in Italy provided him with a false Red Cross passport in the name of Ricardo Klement. Surely.., at last, he would be able to find rest and to start a new life…”

He had been on the run from the allied forces ever since the end of the war, and he knew that to Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, he was the most prized quarry ever. If only he could have gone to a distant planet. Still, Argentina would do, after all, at a distance of 10,000 miles from Israel, he should be pretty safe.

Like old Haman in Queen Esther’s time, Eichmann despised and hated the Jews. He had done so ever since his childhood days. Later, once he held the rank of “Obersturmbahnführer” in Hitler’s SS, the task of organizing and supervising “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question” was assigned to him. The good-looking young man with the affable face accepted with relish. And he proved to be more successful than Haman. In fact, towards the end of the war he would boast that, with him as the grand architect, four million Jews had been gassed and two million shot…

Now all that seemed to be a horrible nightmare, haunting him day and night, not so much the memory of the millions of Jewish men, women and children shipped to the extermination camps like cattle. Rather the fact that the “avenging angels” might be on his trail, hunting him down. All his hope centered on Argentina. He must find refuge there. He must start a completely new life in that hospitable country. He already had a new name, now to find a quiet place to live, and a job to earn a living, and then, later, to secretly signal to his wife and children, left behind in Germany, to come and join him.

All of this is a riveting story, but, what many of us don’t realize – it is also our very own story; the story of MAN ever running away from himself, from his past, from his conscience, from God, as he desperately tries to find a new life, a new identity. Argentina isn’t good enough for that, nor would another planet be.

For ten years Eichmann was able to fool himself. He found a house and a job as a welder at the Mercedes Benz factory in Buenos Aires, he learned some Spanish, and, after two years, his wife and children followed him. Things seemed to be working out pretty good, apart from the gnawing regret that the grandiose Third Reich had collapsed, and that there were too many Jews in Buenos Aires.

It was one of those Jews, or rather a half Jew, and blind at that, Lothar Hermann, who by accident began to realize who this Ricardo Klement really was. It took Mossad quite a while to act on the tip. But, finally, Eichmann’s past caught up with him: he was kidnapped and spirited to Israel. The eight months’ trial was in all the world’s headlines. He never pleaded guilty, even if admitting his role in the exterminations.

And so… Adolph Eichmann, once so handsome and ambitious, once such a power in a proud and mighty nation, once instilling such fear into millions, the epitome of ruthlessness, and seemingly well on his way to exterminating God’s chosen nation, came to his ignominious end, caught by those very people he hated so intensely, judged by them and then sentenced to death. The last thing they did to him was hanging him from the gallows, just like Haman. Even so, it wasn’t the very last thing ever happening to him. Still to come is his appearance before God’s judgment seat.

Even if the Jews rejected their own Messiah, as they do up till this day, they were and are God’s own people! So why would God have permitted the “holocaust” during the war years, the unparalleled genocide of Jews and others? Like other enigmas, we may never know this side of Heaven. What we do know is that God’s plans never fail, and that He is still working out a most marvelous plan for Abraham’s children. It will come to a climax when they, unlike Eichmann, do plead guilty(Zechariah 12), finally receiving HIM, of whom their own book speaks so eloquently.

What we must address though is that search for a new identity and a new life. That is what Eichmann was after in Argentina and with him countless other Nazis. It is also what many hundreds of thousands of Jews are looking for. They escaped from war torn Europe (and now from Russia) to Israel..; desperately clinging to the hope of a new and happy start among their fellow Jews in the land of the patriarchs. How few there are who find their hopes fully and gloriously realized. They do not know that the old identity (in the Bible called “the old man”) was dealt a death blow on Calvary (Romans 6) and that a “new man” rose from the grave. Indeed, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away, all things have become new”(2 Cor. 5:17). No more need then to run away from the past and from conscience: on the Cross of Christ it was all dealt with. The perfect refuge and the perfect new identity are there: in the risen Christ. HE did it all – to HIM only belongs all the praise!!

Sadly, most Christians equally ignore this very real and fundamental truth. It may be summed up in these words: “If He identified with me, so He could take me down into death and then lift me up into LIFE, it follows that I am now identified with Him, in his death and resurrection – a fact I may very simply accept by faith. On the cross He brought to an end my old identity in Adam, and He gave me a new identity in Himself, the risen Christ.”

It means there is not only forgiveness at the cross, but also a brand new identity. It is there for every believer, even though most have still to hear about it. Many of such believers are still hoping, or despairing, to finally “start a new life”, within the old Adam identity. In other words, they are still working on the improvement of old Adam. They pass by the fact that Adam was terminated on Calvary, and so they also pass by their new identity in the risen Christ.

Paul’s testimony is clear. And, yes, God wants it to become your testimony too:

“I am crucified with Christ; it is no more I that live, but Christ is living in me; and my outward life which still remains, I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20 – Conybeare)