Saturday, 24 October 2020
What Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday have to do with pro-life work Henrique Jacob on Unsplash

What Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday have to do with pro-life work

“I’ve never heard of that. This is new information to me.” The young woman sitting across from me looked astounded, but not disbelieving. 

I had just told her about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In our post-Christian culture, we can no longer assume the average American knows the basic facts of our faith. 

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Growing up as a church kid, I regularly heard from folks who’d been out on the mission field battling nasty spiders and snakes along with weird food and language barriers. 

The missionaries would drape the altar at the front of the church in colored fabric and cover it with artifacts from the country in which they labored. 

I remember hearing dramatic conversion stories that took place in foreign lands—stories of people who had never heard of Jesus.

Nowadays, it’s often the people in my own country—my own community—who’ve never heard about the risen Savior.

The young woman I spoke with at our clinic that day wasn’t married, but she wasn’t terribly distressed about her pregnancy. Our conversation focused more on spiritual matters, a subject she was keenly interested in.

She was ripe for the Gospel. Our conversation seemed to clarify things and strengthen her growing conviction that God, who had brought her our way, was at work in her life.

I still remember the look of wonder on her face as the truth gradually dawned on her.

The work of pregnancy help centers has a certain “homeland missionary” quality. We must study our own culture in the same way a missionary studies foreign culture before attempting to communicate the good news of Jesus.

Why? Because our core mission is two-fold. 

We exist to save the lives of God’s precious, preborn image-bearers—but we also exist to hold out the hope of the Gospel amid distress and despair.

Tweet This: We exist to save the lives of God’s precious, preborn image-bearers — but also to hold out the hope of the Gospel amid distress and despair.

We refer to our work as “life-affirming,” and it is, on more than one level. 

We see human life as sacred. We also receive and share the abundant, eternal life to be found in Christ alone.

As another Holy Week unfolds, Christians are submerged into the unspeakable anguish of Good Friday and then uplifted by the absolute triumph of Resurrection Sunday.

When we think of those we serve, as well as our own lives, we are comforted to know that Jesus understands suffering like no one else does. 

We’ve faced the pain of rejection and betrayal; Jesus was turned over to an angry mob by one of his own disciples and deserted by the others.

We’ve struggled with impossibly heavy decisions; Jesus sweat great drops of blood when wrestling with His choice in the Garden. 

We’ve carried the shame of abuse; Jesus hung bleeding in public without a shred of clothing to offer him dignity.

We’ve been lanced by hurtful words hurled at us; Jesus was mocked and spit on by the very people He came to rescue.

We’ve been wounded by feelings of abandonment; Jesus felt cut off from the sweet fellowship of His own Father in his very worst hour.

We’ve suffered, but He has suffered so much more—all for our sakes, for He was utterly innocent.

Jesus obeyed the will of the Father and said yes to the hardest thing He would ever do. 

It is finished.

His obedience didn’t just make Him the ultimate martyr—it set in motion the plan God had from the very beginning to redeem us to Himself.

No one has suffered like Jesus, and no one has triumphed like He has.

He is risen!

The work we do in pro-life ministry is motivated by our understanding of who Jesus is. We have only to look at His life to see the importance of what we do.

Tweet This: Our work in pro-life ministry is motivated by our understanding of who Jesus is. We have only to look at His life to see the importance.

Jesus came to this world in the flesh, first as a zygote, then an embryo, then a fetus. He spent nine months in the womb, just like all of us.

How much more eloquently could God speak of the sacredness of life in the womb?

Jesus ministered to the oppressed and marginalized everywhere He went. He sought out those rejected by others. He saw the ones no one else noticed or wanted to bother with.

Jesus especially valued children.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea…See to it that you don’t despise one of these little ones, because I tell you that in heaven their angels continually view the face of my Father in heaven… it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”  --Matthew 18:8-14

How much more loudly could God declare His fierce love for His beloved little ones?

The very ones our culture dismisses as worthless—the unborn, abortion survivors, special-needs infants—these are the very ones we protect.

We do so to follow the instruction and example of our Lord.

Jesus suffered and died on the cross, and three days later rose from the grave, snatching the keys of hell and death back from the enemy of our souls.

Is it any wonder we celebrate? 

The Lord of life has won over our greatest fears! 

Jesus, whose Father created human life as sacred, made in the image of God (Col. 1:16) …

Jesus, who put skin on and showed us the value of little ones…

Jesus, who paid a great price so we can enjoy abundant and eternal life with Him…

…this Jesus is worthy of our wholehearted devotion.

On Good Friday, may your meditation on Jesus’ anguish comfort your heart—and on Resurrection Sunday, may your heart and mouth be filled with praise for the Lord of life.

Susanne Maynes

Susanne Maynes is an author, speaker, and biblical counselor who served at a pregnancy help center for ten years. She blogs about church & culture and spiritual growth at Her first book, Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: 40 Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn, inspires and uplifts the pregnancy help community. Her latest book, Releasing Your Brave Love: Helping Kids to Change Their World, helps 8-12 year-olds embrace the truth of Imago Dei and develop a strong pro-life ethic. 


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