During War Two, two servicemen were lost in the jungle in one of the Pacific Islands when they came across an indigenous man carrying a big bible. One of the soldiers pointed at it and said, “we don’t believe in that book anymore”. The man looked at him and smiled, “well, it’s a good thing for you that I do, or you’d be in here by now”, and he pointed at his stomach.
Jesus’ influence increased the value of human life and completely changed people’s mindsets. An example is how he elevated by his life and teachings the importance of women. Mistreatment of women was common around the world. Sati – widow burning is an example of this, where girls as young as 13 years old were married to men who were fifty or sixty years old. When they died, the young women were expected to throw themselves on the funeral pier and die with their husbands. Through the work of Christian missionaries in India, finally, it was made illegal in the 1830s. Thousands of women even now owe their lives to the influence of those missionaries.
A Hindu woman once said to a missionary, “Surely your Bible was written by a woman.’ ‘Why?’ he asked. “Because it says so many kind things for women”.
Before the spread of Christianity, there was no organized charitable effort at large in the world. The example and teachings of Jesus changed how the world reacted to those in need, especially the poor, the widowed and the orphaned.
The Bible repeatedly teaches to love your neighbour, give, have compassion, and bear one another burdens. “He who despises his neighbour sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.” (Proverbs 14:21)
The morality of society can easily be judged by its value on human life. Remove the influence of Jesus in the world, and you will quickly see how cheap human life becomes.
Hospitals as we know them began through the influence of those who sought to follow Jesus way’s and teachings. This gave rise to nursing care and organisations started by Christians, such as The Red Cross.
Christianity also impacted societies concept of education for everyone. The greatest universities worldwide were started by Christians for Christian purposes. While many of them may today be quite hostile to the Christian faith, the fact is that it was through the labour and sacrifices of Christians Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and others were created.
I encourage you to not take for granted or forget what Jesus has done for you and all humanity. He was crucified on a wooden cross and then rose again three days later, impacting the world for all eternity.
This Easter, continue to remember what he has done for you and determine to share, protect and stand for that which is pure, holy, loving and good.
Prayer: Jesus, Thank you for all that you have done for me and please help me not to take for granted or underestimate the difference you have made. You are the one who taught us how to love, to be compassionate, how to reach out to the hurting, the sick, and the lonely. Please help me be as you are in my world. In Jesus name Amen