This past Sunday was sanctity of life Sunday in America, and this coming Sunday is sanctity of life Sunday on South Africa. With this in mind I thought I would write a bit about what the sanctity of life is. The principle is human life is sacred- Sacred in a different way than everything else. This principle is found in Genesis 9v5b which says, “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every 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.” Now somebody is going to say to me, “What? If animals kill a human being God is going hold those animals accountable? How does that work?” and the answer is I have no idea, but the point is clear: If God is angry at animals doing instinctive things, for killing human beings, how much more accountable are human beings for one another’s lives. What God is getting across here is that of all of his creation there is something special about human beings- human life is scared. Anyone who violates it I will be held accountable.
What does ‘Sacred’ mean?
What does that word sacred mean. What does it tell us? And I would suggest that right here in the text you have basically three grounds for saying that God says human life is sacred.
Human life is sacred because if you look carefully its priceless. Why is it priceless? If you see a diamond ring and you ask the man who owns it, “I would like to buy that diamond ring”, what if the man says, “No, that was my wife’s, that’s the ring I gave her when we were engaged. She died tragically some years ago, its priceless to me” now what does he mean. There is no exchange for it. God is saying (here is one of those areas that I’m going to have to skirt around because many people are unhappy about what looks like a blood-thirsty reaction) “whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed”.
When this was written it was a tremendous advance toward the dignity of every human individual, because its saying that there is nothing that can pay for human life. Human life is so priceless; there is nothing else in all of reality that can be exchanged for it. In other words if you said, “if you shed human life, that will be R1000 000 please” that means that that person’s life was worth R1000 000. If you say its 30 years in jail, then when the 30 years is up you get out, in other...