Extract: The Cries of the Heart, p. 94-5 (Scribd.com format), Ravi Zacharias:
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize winner and Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, tells of the time when he was in a concentration camp and was compelled, along with a few others, to witness the hanging of two Jewish men and one Jewish boy. The two men died quite instantly, but the dying of the young lad for some reason became protracted as he struggled for half an hour on the gallows. Somebody behind Wiesel was heard to mutter, “Where is God? Where is He?” Then the voice ground out the anguish again, “Where is He?” Wiesel also felt the question irrepressibly springing from within him: “Where is God? Where is He?” Then he heard a voice softly within him saying, “He is hanging there on the gallows.”
Author Dennis Ngien, in his article “The God Who Suffers,” added a footnote to that story. He quoted theologian Jurgen Moltmann saying that any other answer would be blasphemy. I ask the question, Can any faith other than Christianity answer that question in its fullest sense? As we look around at the feelingless atrocities we wonder, Where is God? And the answer comes: He is right in the middle—at the receiving end of our atrocities. These very unconscionable and pitiful acts of blowing up a building and thus killing men, women, and children and of suffocating a newborn baby are acts against Him. We inflict pain on other people because we have rejected Him first. I find that illustration of Wiesel utterly amazing. Where is God? Right there in that building. Right there in that plastic bag. The cross somehow invades us as the only reasonable point of definition for a wounded world. God is on the gallows Himself, so that we might come near. Any other answer is blasphemous.
From this truth follows a very significant personal challenge. When we come face to face with the cross, we have a choice to make: We either recognize its implications and bring ourselves, our passions, and all that we are, to be crucified with Christ so that we might live within the sound of His voice and the feel of His heart, or we walk away from the cross and live feeling alienated from God. But this is where the lie comes in—believing that we can be close to the Father without dying to ourselves. In Christ’s own ministry this was impossible. We hear so much about “coming to Christ.” We hear too little of being crucified with Him. When we come to Him with all of our past baggage, nothing will change if we do not let that old self be crucified.
Also view William Lane Craig’s article: ‘Letter From a Grieving Father.’