In our world, it’s not difficult to leave Jesus out of the wonderful and humane efforts we undertake to help people in desperate situations. While it may be possible to be pro-life without being pro-Jesus, the opposite is not true. It is impossible to be pro-Jesus and not be pro-life.
If pro-life comes before Jesus, a person will likely be zealous to save babies…sometimes at any cost. The abortionist may not be valued at all; even smear campaigns against these individuals are sometimes used. There may be attempts to degrade and diminish the character of these individuals by hanging their dirty laundry out for the world to see. Consider the news coverage of pro-life people yelling angrily at abortion-clinic workers or in front of abortion clinics. Some extreme zealots would even conclude that the abortionist himself or herself has—through his or her actions—forfeited the right to life.
How is this activity “pro-life”? Where is Jesus in this behavior?
If your foundation is based on the belief that God is the true Life-giver and that He has assigned equal value and dignity to every life (and believing that He loves every life), you are pro-Jesus. And if you’re pro-Jesus, you’re sure to be “pro-life”…not in a narrow “I stand against abortion” way, but in a “God loves all life” sort of way! The implications of this belief can change everything: just as the child in the womb is valued by God, so is the person responsible for killing that child.
It’s a bold step to treat every person with regard, whether they are small and hidden from view in the womb, or colored differently, or lacking skill, or “less than” in any other way. But look at how Jesus valued the criminals of his day, those individuals that were not considered moral or good people. Remember Zacchaeus and his dishonest, deceptive tax collecting? How about Paul, who planned and celebrated the murders of Christ-followers? Recall Jesus’ last words as He suffered on a cross, brutally beaten, barely breathing, and near death: “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” What a bold statement of love and value!
In going to the cross Jesus did not differentiate between those He would die for and those He would not die for. He died for you, for me, and for everyone we know and will ever know. He died for every human being, regardless of their ideology, behavior, beliefs, or religious practices (or lack thereof). He expressed His Father’s love and profoundly affirmed the intrinsic value of every person ever created by hanging on that cross and suffering a humiliating and inhumane death for our sins.
The most profound, deeply impactful, global, pro-life initiative ever to take place in the history of mankind occurred on Calvary’s tree. And that initiative was intended for everybody!
This post was originally published on September 21, 2015.