January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp in 1945. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated this day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
May I suggest that we take a few minutes and pray with the apostle Paul: “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for them [my Jewish kinsmen] is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1).
Robert Murray McCheyne, a young Scottish pastor who died in 1843, loved the Jewish people. In 1839 he traveled from Scotland to Israel to discern the condition of the Jews. One result of that trip was that in 1841 Daniel Edward was ordained as the first missionary of the Scottish church to the Jews.
But McCheyne’s heart was broken on this journey not only because there were so few followers of the Messiah Jesus, but because of the long-standing mistrust of Christians among Jews because of centuries of suffering at their hands.
McCheyne resolved to pray more earnestly. And his biographers report that in the two hours he devoted to prayer and meditation every day, one of those hours he focused on praying for the conversion of Israel.
McCheyne believed, as I do, that the day will come when God lifts the veil from the eyes of Israel and they will see Jesus as their Messiah and believe and be saved.
Did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! . . . For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? . . . A partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved. (Romans 11:11–12, 15, 25-26)
Pray with me that the fullness of the Gentiles would come in, that the day of hardening would end, and that the headlines in Tel Aviv would read: “Thousands of Jewish People Turning to Jesus.”