The focus for our Vacation Bible School ministry this summer is the sanctity of human life. And in light of all that is going on in our culture today, I cannot think of a more relevant and needed topic to be teaching our children. When it comes down to it, at the heart of several things we are witnessing today occurring in our nation is a blatant disregard and devaluing of human life. The very reason the Supreme Court wrongly decided the Roe v. Wade decision nearly 50 years ago granting a legal “right” to an abortion and why so many vehemently oppose the potential of it being overturned right now is simply because life is not valued at its earliest stages of development. The life of the tiniest most dependent child is not seen as greater than a mother’s choice of what to do with him or her. This also accounts for the 421,483.4 abortions which have already occurred this year as of this writing and the many more tragically which will be added to that number. The rise of so many mass shootings that we hear about almost daily stem from, among other things, a basic failure to value human life. No one is going to go into a grocery store or a school to gun down people who don’t look the same as them or young children if they are convinced that every life has value and worth. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on average there is 130 suicides per day. People not only don’t value the life of others but their own life as well. And more and more states are seeking to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide. In a growing “culture of death,” even more so now we need to be teaching our children and the kids in the community why every life matters regardless of the location (whether inside or outside the womb) or its age, size, shape, or shade of skin.
The sanctity and value of human life can be seen in the very creation of man itself. When God went about to make man, He created him in His own image (Genesis 1:27). This sets us apart from any other of God’s creation. While we may share some characteristics with those in the animal kingdom, only is man ever described as being created in God’s image. In fact, this is something that has not been said about the angels whom we were made just a little lower than (Psalm 8:5). We are never told anywhere in Scripture that they in any sense bear God’s image nor were designed to do so. Alone, out of all of God’s splendid creatures, we have this privilege and that gives each of us inherent value and worth. Even though that image has now been marred and distorted, it still clearly remains (Genesis 9:6; James 3:9). It is a distorted reflection but a reflection none the less. Think of how you look when standing in front of a busted mirror. You can still see your reflection in it but it’s not perfect. You may look kind of fuzzy. Maybe your eye looks out of place or your cheek is hanging down. You can only see part of your ear or a piece of it. But it is still you being reflected. As fallen creatures, we still reflect God’s image though it’s a broken reflection. Also, there is something to be said about the fact that God decided to create man last of all His creation, indicating that we serve as the crown or capstone of all that He has made so to speak. He decided that His creation was not complete until He had made man to bear and reflect His image.
God values human life so much that He forbids us from the unauthorized intentional taking of a human life. That’s found in the statement of the sixth commandment, You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13). And if we are not to take a human life, then that means that we are to do everything possible within our power to preserve and protect human life as every negative command has a positive side to it. We must value every life because God values every life. As R. C. Sproul has pointed out, there is a real sense that when someone strikes another human, that they are not only making an assault against that person, but against God Himself, the One whose image the person bears. Just as desecrating the American flag is seen as being an insult to the nation, harming or hurting any human can be viewed as being insult to his or her Creator.
In fact, God sees each human life as being so valuable and as having such worth that He instituted the death penalty for the murder of it. In Genesis 9:5-6, He says, Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every living thing I will require it. And from every man, from each man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man. If someone takes another man or woman’s life, they in essence forfeit their own. Even an animal who takes a humans life is to be put to death (v. 5). That’s how important life is to God!
And perhaps the greatest worth and value we can see that God places on human life is found in Him preserving it to redeem His chosen people out of it through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That even when God brought about the flood of His judgment over all of mankind on account of their wickedness, in grace He spared Noah and his family and brought about the Messiah through his lineage. He has chosen to glorify Himself through the salvation of men and women from every tribe, tongue, and nation. To make them His own and recreate them into the image of His beloved Son.
If we want to see an end to this “culture of death” all around us, then we need to seek to cultivate a culture of life instead. One way that we can do this is to begin teaching our children from the youngest of ages as to why every life matters to God and is important to Him. In a couple short weeks, we have the privilege to do just that with our Vacation Bible School outreach. And, of course, ultimately we want the kids to find their full value and worth in the Lord Jesus Christ and becoming an adopted child of God’s through faith in Him. Please join us in praying for this ministry and seeking to help out in any way that you are able.
Love in Christ,