Richard Wurmbrand

Richard Wurmbrand

“Why do you come with such stupidities. Why do you believe in Jesus? How do you know He exists?”

By Richard Wurmbrand

Dear brothers and sisters,

In Isaiah 53:3a we read: “…He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering…”

While the above scripture verses clearly refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, these words, to some degree, can also be applied to some of his followers. In prison, we were very badly treated. For years, I and others were kept in solitary confinement, 30 feet beneath the earth. The only thing we could do was sit quietly and look at the same spot on the wall. There were times when they gave us one slice of bread a week. At other times we were given soup of potato peels and cabbage with unwashed intestines and such dainties. We only sat, looked at the wall, meditated and prayed.

Then after years of such solitary confinement, they put us in common cells. It was a very depressing atmosphere. All men passed through tortures. None of them knew anything about their families. All had years of prison behind them and years yet to go.

There was among us a Jewish believer. His name was Milan Haimovitch. This man had been so beaten. He was often beaten for his own «crimes» but frequently, just as another prisoner was to be beaten, he would step forward and say, «I will take his place». He was a model of Christ.

Once there was a discussion between him and a great scientist who was also in jail with us. He was a member of the Academy of Science and a godless man. Milan Haimovitch was not of the same intellectual and cultural level as this professor. He had not read so many thousands of books as this professor, but he tried to tell the professor about the Messiah, about Jesus.

The professor laughed and scorned him and said, “Why do you come with such stupidities. Why do you believe in Jesus? How do you know He exists?”

Milan replied, “Well, I know by the fact that I walk with Him and talk with Him.” The professor said, “You are such a liar. How can you walk with Jesus? Jesus lived 2000 years ago, somewhere in Israel Then He died. How can you walk and talk with Him?” Milan replied, “Yes, sir, it is true that He died 2000 years ago, but He also resurrected and is living even now.” The scientist continued: “Where is He now? In heaven? Where is heaven? Thousands of miles away beyond the sun, the moon, beyond all the stars? In another world? Can he walk and talk with you? Don’t you see that you speak stupid things?” Milan replied, “I myself have no explanation. I wonder myself, too, but the fact is that He walks and talks with me.”

The professor was indignant and said, “Well, I will ask you one more question. You say that He talks with you. How does He talk with you? What is the expression of His face? Does He look angry? Wrathful? Does He look interested or disinterested? Does He look lovingly at you? Does He perhaps smile at you?” He was mocking with these questions.

Milan answered, “Sir, you have guessed. Sometimes He smiles at me.” The scientist interrupted and said, “Ha, ha, ha, such a lie, such a lie. I never met such a liar. Jesus smiles at you. When you say Jesus smiles at you, show me how He smiles.” Milan said, “I will show how Jesus smiles.”

Now, you must realize how Milan looked. Like all of us, he was shorn. He was only skin and bones with dark circles around his eyes. He was without teeth. He was in the uniform of a prisoner. He looked like a scarecrow. We were all very ugly.

Yet such a beautiful smile appeared on his lips. His dirty face shone. The glory of God can shine from behind a thick crust of dirt. There was so much peace, so much contentment and so much joy on his face, in a smile that was not from this earth. This atheist, godless professor bowed his head and said, «Sir, I have seen Jesus».

I have been witness of such a thing. My aim in life has been also to bring to a world, in which there is so much suffering and so much darkness, the smile of Jesus. What must the purpose of believers be in this dark and sad world with so much suffering of so many kinds?

I have seen this man. He was also human like us, but he could bring the smile of heaven to a sad world. He had learned to smile like Jesus. Jesus has suffered more than everyone of us. Not only that he was crucified, but he bore the sufferings of everyone. It is written about Him, in Isaiah 53, that He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Yet He has brought so much joy in life.

Learn to smile like Jesus.

God bless you,
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Richard Wurmbrand