Jesus, Oscar Schindler and Me


I identify with the frailty of Oscar Schindler

This is the most moving scene in any movie i know.  In fact, IMBD named Schindlers List the best movie ever made.

It crushes me every time i watch it.  I so identify with Schindler, if i let myself think about it.  Do i dare consider how many opportunities to love and help others, i have certainly wasted?


Yet in some ways, Schindler is, or at least becomes, an exemplary man.  As his friend in the scene says, “generations will exist because of what you have done Oscar”.   In one sense, i would love to identify with Oscar Schindler and become a person who gave up so much to save the lives of others.


Truth is I identify both with his regret and his desire to do right.  I identify with the frail yet powerful tension of his humanity.


Jesus is NO Oscar Schindler

On the other hand, it can be way harder to identify with Jesus.  Jesus says in John 18, I told you that I am He,” Jesus replied. “So if you are looking for Me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word He had spoken: I have not lost one of those You have given Me.”

While, Schindler looked with awful regret at his car and saw 10 lives he could have saved instead, Jesus felt none of Schindler’s regret.  That is stunning.


It is so human, so normal for me to have regret.  Especially when i look deeply at the suffering in the world, and compare how i spend my time to the depth of need all around me.  While Jesus was certainly fully human with deep emotions, he felt no such regret.  He didn’t lose one of those God gave him.


In this sense, i identify far more with Schindler than Jesus.


Jesus identifies with me.


So as i reflect on my role in serving the needs of the world, i feel so much more like Schindler than Jesus.  In fact, i feel far less than Schindler, i certainly haven’t accomplished nearly what he did for needy people.  Where does that leave me?  Full of regret?


It should, if i’m brutally honest.  But as so many times before, Jesus steps in and rescues me.  Also in John he prays of all who believe in him…

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”


So a movie like Schindlers List, breaks me down, forces me to face the fact that have so much to regret.  I might try to count up my good deeds and ignore the regret so i feel “OK”.  But that ok feeling is just a feeling, it comes and goes.


Instead, Jesus, the only man who ever lived without regret, shows up with the amazing love that rescues me from this struggle.  He, with the full confidence of God the Father, calls me into friendship with Him.  Takes my soiled, regret filled record and replaces it with a new identity.

His one time cross love, makes me clean before God forever.  His enduring, patient love forgives me 70×7 times along the way till i actually become a man with more love and less regret.

Thanks to Steven Spielberg for taking me on this emotional roller-coaster.    Thanks to God for Jesus making a way to face regret and strive for better.







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