Last Sunday I spoke at an Alliance church and the pastor asked me to explain to his congregation why Christians could be concerned about abortion. Although there are many passages in the Scriptures I could have highlighted to make the Biblical case against abortion, I chose one: Luke 1.
Those who reflect on Luke 1 as it relates to the pro-life message, often point to John the Baptist, the late-term fetus, “the babe [who] leaped in [Elizabeth’s] womb” (Luke 1:41). But the animation of John the Baptist is not what I was focused on. Instead, I was focused on why John the Baptist leaped for joy. We read that Mary “entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth” (Luke 1:40). John the Baptist leaped “when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary” (Luke 1:41). To understand why the pre-born prophet did this we need to rewind.
Mary had recently had a visitor of her own: “the angel Gabriel [who] was sent from God” (Luke 1:26). This messenger came not only to state “you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30) but that “you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:31). Mary then gave God her yes: “let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). And so Mary was forever changed. The presence of one became the presence of two. She who was made in the image of God suddenly carried God. She was transformed into a walking tabernacle, a dwelling place for God made man, so that when she greeted Elizabeth, Mary was not alone.
In the days long before cell phones, texting, Facebook and Twitter, no social media delivered a message to Elizabeth about what had happened. But upon the presence of the Holy Presence, she and John the Baptist knew. They sensed the presence of God made man in the early embryo. John the Baptist did what he could do—he leaped. Elizabeth did what she could do—she exclaimed, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:43). And Mary responded, “My soul magnifies the Lord" (Luke 1:46).
All three were focused on the youngest in their midst. Divinity had taken on humanity. In the silence and the darkness of the womb, new life had begun, the life of Christ.
God, who is all-powerful, demonstrates His supremacy throughout the Scriptures. He turned a rod into a serpent and back; He made Moses’ hand leprous and then restored it (Exodus 4:2-7). He “formed man of dust from the ground” (Genesis 2:7). God could have chosen any number of ways to become human, but the way He chose was to take on the form of the youngest among us, the human embryo. That was your beginning; it was my beginning; and it was also God's beginning as man. Since abortion destroys this new life, which God Himself once was, that is why Christians should be concerned about abortion.