In conjunction with Passover, Holy Week and Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jews for Jesus has released the video, "That Jew Died for You," depicting Jesus Christ at the gates of Auschwitz being sentenced to death.
According to a press release on the film's website, the filmmakers wanted to help redefine the conversation and reshape views of Jesus and His relationship to the Holocaust.
"The horrors of the Holocaust and the 6 million who died has gnawed at the consciousness of Jews for over 60 years," said David Brickner, Executive Director of Jews for Jesus. "We want Jewish people to understand that the sufferings inflicted at the hands of the Nazi's were in no way based on the teachings of Jesus. In fact, he suffered and died on our behalf to show us the love of God."The Filmmakers at Jews for Jesus believe that The Messiah has often been wrongly associated with the perpetrators of the Holocaust. In reality, he is to be identified with those who were the victims. As a Jew, if he were in Europe at the time, Jesus may well have suffered the same fate of the six million who perished in the concentration camps, the website puts forth..
They found inspiration in the Jewish teaching that the death of Jews in the Holocaust accomplished kiddush ha Shem, the sanctification of God's name. They want people to understand then, as the Bible tells us, Jesus' death was intended by God for kiddush ha am, the sanctification of the people.
The professional short video depicts a powerful scene set at the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp as a line of Jews awaits their fate. The Nazi guards at the front of the line decide who will go to the work camp and who will go to the gas chambers. Toward the end of the video, Jesus, carrying a cross, comes to the front of the line and is sent by the guards toward the gas chambers.
"While the Holocaust evokes dark despair, we want Jewish people to know that God still has a message of hope," said Susan Perlman, Associate Director of Jews for Jesus. "Jewish artists have previously connected the sufferings of Jesus with the Holocaust, but this may be the first time it has been depicted on film. We want to show that Jesus is on the side of Jewish people, not the Nazis."