“I once heard Martin D. Niemöller tell of his incarceration at Dachau. His cell was in plain view of the gallows. Day after day he watched men and women go to their deaths. He could hear their cries, curses, and prayers. He declared that the gallows became his best teacher. Through that horrible experience he was haunted by two questions: “What will happen on the day they lead you there and put you to the test? When they put that rope around your neck, what will be your last words? Will they be, ‘Father, forgive them’ or will they be ‘Criminals! Scum?’ ”
Niemöller said that if Jesus had cried out in vengeance, there would have been no New Testament, no church, and no Christian history.”
G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching, 95-96 (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1986).