Abortion and child sacrifice are not new practices. As long as people have been having sex, people have been making babies; and as long as people have been making babies, they have been sacrificing them for one reason or another.
I’ll never forget standing in the jungle at the top of a beautifully criss-crossed pattern of channels carefully carved into a stone hillside in Bolivia, South America. There, in a bygone era, the blood of countless young virgins had run down into a macabre stone pool at the bottom of the hill, “sacred” sacrifices to their murderous gods.
Although evil, there is a certain understandable reasoning and even twisted nobility in the practice of child sacrifice for sacred purposes. Horrific as these offerings were, the priests actually believed they were religiously efficacious, providing a divine covering for the community’s greater good—appeasing the gods and bringing blessing.
In his essay, “Myth Became Fact,” C. S. Lewis suggests such sacrifices form a kind of dim mythological “type” or garbled precursor to the one true blood sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, it was a twisted and aberrant distortion of God’s redemptive plan, and yes, their hope and trust were horrendously misplaced, but in another way they were on the right track in affirming the need for propitiatory blood-letting. And just as people sacrificed their children and their enemy’s children to appease their bloodthirsty gods, God sacrificed His only son, Jesus, so that those who do such things can be rightly redeemed of their bloodguilt.
What is especially tragic and disturbing about the contemporary practice of abortion is that any religious or redemptive motive is largely lost. The satanic claim is still the same: “Sacrifice your child and all will be well,” but the rationale for doing so has been monstrously modified into an egotistical altar to the almighty self. Today we do it for personal convenience, to avoid social shame, and to try and eliminate any serious consequences for irresponsible and immoral behavior.
But the demonic spirit of the age to whom we offer up our children is not a forgiving one. All will not be well; not for the child, not for the self, and not for the society as a whole. No community lasts long when its people selfishly choose to eradicate future generations for the sordid sake of their own perceived personal interests.
Granted, these are very hard words, especially if you’ve had an abortion or encouraged another to get one. The great news is this: there is forgiveness and hope in Christ’s blood offering for sin. He gave His life so that through His incomprehensible, unparalleled love anyone who has taken the life of another can be forgiven and restored to undeserved honor and joy. This is the power of the cross. Jesus’ once-for-all true child sacrifice appeases the wrath of God and gloriously redeems all who put their trust and hope in Him.