In the summer of 2004 I went on a trip to Romania with the college group from my church. It was an incredible experience. We spent 4 days in Austria before returning to the U.S. We spent most of that time in Vienna, but took a train to Salzburg and spent a day there. It is a beautiful city nestled in the Bavarian Alps.
We took a bus tour into Germany to the Eagle’s Nest which was Hitler’s mountain retreat. We saw the lodge that Mussolini gave to Hitler as a gift. As I stood there I thought about what that place symbolizes. It symbolizes the worst of humanity, evil that spread throughout Europe and numerous atrocities. Hitler’s regime was dark and evil. We went out to the mountain peak and saw a symbol of hope and love.
That symbol is the cross. The cross is where on a Friday about 2,000 years ago that Jesus showed His love for us by dying for our sins. He has all power and could have stopped it, but because of His love for us He allowed the soldiers to crucify Him. I liked the flower in the center which to me represented the new life we receive from Jesus when we come to His cross.
The two scenes were a strong contrast. Hitler’s lodge represents evil and the worst of humanity. It represents Hitler’s lust for power and domination which was not legitimately his. The cross of Jesus represents how He gave up all power temporarily to serve us out of His loves for us. Before He died, He said “it is finished” meaning He had done all of the work that needed to be done for us to be forgiven by God and receive a relationship with God. We receive it by believing in Him and trusting in Him.