Sunday will culminate a sacred and Holy week celebrated by Christian and Jewish people across the world, through Passover celebrations, Good Friday and Easter Sunday traditions. Both religious traditions point to a Holy and loving Creator and an order for the payment, confession and ultimate forgiveness of sin.
I happen to hold to the Christian belief that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and was sent to this world to take our place on the cross, where he suffered as a common criminal through the agonizing death of Crucifixion on a cross. His resurrection three days later was proof of all the prophesies spoken and documented in the Holy Scriptures. I understand that my faith and beliefs do not represent all people but, they have come to shape who I am and why I stand today to defend the preborn child in the womb.
You see, hanging on that cross many years ago was a Savior – a redeemer as exemplified many times through beautiful passages in the Old Testament – who took that place for me. The example Christ held out for me is one I wish to emulate when it comes to the others that He also loved and died for. This includes those who are actively promoting and performing abortions as well as the preborn children and their mothers.
History is filled with men and women who stood in the gap for those who were vulnerable to abuse and death, and in many of those documented cases, a faith in God girded their actions. The rich love of God should never be mistaken for weakness. Quite the contrary, for scripture tells us that Jesus willingly came to earth after emptying himself and then taking on the form of a human. The type of strength one must possess to knowingly submit themselves to ridicule and death for another is beyond my understanding. But, it is one my Savior obediently walked in and asks that I do as well.
For in Philippians 2 we read:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.
For us to serve our world and lay our lives down for the preborn will require a similar emptying. And, with regard to the issue at hand that so burdens many of us, we have much to learn.
First, we must understand the need to model ourselves after our Savior by studying His life – the intricacies of His words and actions. We are to hate sin and yet love the sinner, rejoice when we are persecuted, to shine our light in the darkness, honor God in all we do, be reconciled to one another if offended, give to those who ask, keep our word and watch what we speak out of our mouth, go the extra mile, turn the other cheek, give up our cloak if we are falsely taken to court. We are commanded to love our enemies and to do good to those who spitefully use us, and to pray for others, to forgive, to help the poor, deny ourselves, to be wise, and to fear not and to despise not one of these little ones.
As we study with intent the life of Christ, we learn that time and again Jesus’ actions were often motivated out of His immense compassion for us. Scripture tells us that Jesus healed people out of compassion, fed the crowds after being moved with compassion and He willingly hung on a tree for you and me out of His overwhelming heart of compassion.
This Holy week grants the pro-life believer a time to reflect back – to look at that great cost paid for our redemption at a time when we did not expect it nor want or cherish it. Nonetheless, the payment was made. It grants us the opportunity to cleanse ourselves of the ugliness of this battle – the bad thoughts, the hurts, the attacks and the despair we so often struggle to overcome. It enables us to refrain from making this fight personal – no matter if the perceived attack is initiated from friendly fire or straight from the enemy and it enables us to once again reassert our commitment and refocus our attention on those so in need of rescue, the vulnerable children.
As we go about our lives in reflection of this Holy season in the days to come – let us remember always what we do for the least of these, the precious preborn babies in the womb, and others – we do for Him – the one that sacrificially and willingly bleed and died for us. And let’s renew our commitment yet again that, just as Jesus modeled so perfectly for us, our motivation and our actions will flow out of a place of compassion and one of laying down our lives, our reputations, our agenda, and schedules for them.