by: Floyd Artrip

The scriptures tell us that on the night he was betrayed, Jesus led his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He told them,

“My soul is sorrowful even to death.” [1]

He separated himself from the disciples and prayed,

My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: yet, not as I will, but as you will.”[2]

A second time he prayed,

My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done.[3]

Finally, a third time he prayed the same prayer.  Luke observed,

He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.”[4]

Jesus knew what awaited him in the coming hours. In Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” we see a vivid portrayal of the horrible torture to which he was subjected. Some viewers turned aside, unable to watch such crude pain being inflicted on our Savior, many of us wept. Jesus knew this was coming.

On the cross he reached his deepest depression when he cried out,

And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’[5]

What many of us don’t realize is, his agony and prayer to have this cup taken from him, was not due to his fear of the torture which he knew he would have to endure. No, his agony was his anticipation that he would take unto himself all the sins of the world. And in doing so, in his death he would momentarily experience what it means to be eternally separated from God.

This selfless act by Jesus provided each of us with the opportunity for eternal life. John the Baptist taught,

He is the expiation for our sins, not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.”[6]

Paul taught,

“…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures[7]

In the Old Testament, God handed down to Moses a set of ten commandments which the children of Israel must obey. These include,

“…thou shall not kill.”[8]

It is interesting that, when Jesus was asked by the rich young man, what good he must do to gain eternal life, Jesus answered him,

If you wish to enter life, keep the commandments. ‘He asked him, which ones?’ And Jesus replied, You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[9]

Jesus cited the ten commandments in a different order from how they are listed in Exodus. Jesus placed the command to not kill, first. Other translations interpret the original scripture to say,

You shall not murder.”[10]

Jesus must have considered this commandment to be the most important of the original ten. We cannot comprehend all of the people who have died violent deaths in the intervening years; all the wars which have been fought and the innocent people who have died as a result; all the genocides in which leaders and governments have killed millions of people, genocides which continue to this day. Jesus willingly accepted all of these sins unto himself, to provide a path for our salvation.

Most of all, Jesus loved the children. Perhaps this was due to the fact that children represented a freedom from sin, an innocence which fades as they grow into adulthood. He said,

Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them: for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”[11]

Among those, children in the womb are the most defenseless, and the most important of all. The scriptures teach that babies in the womb are individuals, people, not simply pieces of flesh to be removed and discarded at the whim of the mother. God identifies us even before we are conceived. God spoke to Jeremiah,

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” [12]

Luke reported,

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb’.” [13]

Elizabeth’s infant in her womb, John the Baptist, sensed the presence of Jesus in Mary’s womb. Both of these preborn infants were already people; individuals who react to the presence of other preborn infants. Killing unborn infants is among the most heinous of all sins. There have been approximately 62,000,000 abortions in the USA since Roe vs Wade was decided by our Supreme Court in 1973.[14] This number represents more than the population of any of the 212 countries in the world out of a total of 233 countries.[15]  

Just imagine if the population of Italy, South Africa, South Korea, Kenya, Spain, Argentina, or Canada, for example, were suddenly wiped from the earth? Only about two dozen countries in the world currently prohibit abortions.[16] Worldwide, there are approximately 73,000,000 abortions EVERY YEAR![17] Nearly 900,000 of these take place in the USA.[18]

Among all the sins which Jesus took upon himself, the murder of children, particularly unborn babies in the womb, must have been his heaviest load.

The United States of America has been the recipient of bounteous blessings from God, since our founding by God-believing men. Recently, our country has fallen away from God. These blessings have been replaced with new diseases, plagues, wars, greed, and leadership by unbelievers. Families have been replaced by single mothers. Wars have sapped our strength and taken our youth. Natural relationships between men and women have been replaced by same-sex deviant behavior. Even the definition of male and female have been perverted until anyone can claim any sexual identity. Paul wrote of such behavior,

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.”… “Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them, but give approval to those who practice them.”[19]

We are daily witnessing the changes in our nation’s laws to permit and encourage such practices. The prophet Jeremiah spoke about the wrath of God on those who defile His teachings, along with the rewards for turning from their wickedness. [20]

They also have followed and served strange gods: the covenant which I had made with their fathers, the house of Israel and the house of Juda have broken. Therefore, thus says the Lord: See, I bring upon them misfortune which they cannot escape. Though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.”[21]

Christians in the U.S. must make their first goal to overturn Roe vs Wade. Stop the killing of innocent children in the womb. In Virginia, our citizens must reverse our governor and our legislature’s new laws which introduces public funding for abortions, using our public tax funds. [22]

Unless, and until we stop abortions in our country God will not bless us. Instead, He may turn us over to our enemies, as He did with Israel, which account we can read in the book of Judges. [23]

Endnotes:

[1] Matthew 26:38 (all scriptures refer to the New American Bible translation)
[2] Matthew 26:39
[3] Matthew 26:42
[4] Luke 22:44
[5] Matthew 27:46
[6] 1 John 2:2
[7] 1 Cor. 15:3
[8] Exod. 20:13
[9] Matt. 19:17-19
[10] Matt. 19:19 (alternate translations)
[11] Matt. 19:14
[12] Jeremiah 1:5
[13] Luke 1:41-42
[14] www.Guttmacher.org
[15] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_(United_Nations)
[16] https://reproductiverights.org
[17] www.Guttmacher.org
[18] www.Guttmacher.org
[19] Romans 1:24-32
[20] Book of Jeremiah
[21] Jeremiah 11:10-11
[22] https://richmond.com/news/northam-signs-80-bills-including-one-to-grant-state-backed-financial-aid-to-undocumented-students/article_460fa3cd-ca1b-5432-904b-7616145c7fc6.html
[23] Book of Judges

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