A few years ago on a visit to North Africa, we visited a sobering place called the Tophet. This vast expanse lined with tiny gravestones is a primitive burial ground for little babies. But it’s really much more than a cemetery.
For about 400 years, from 700 BC to 300 BC, ancient Carthaginians sacrificed their children on the altars of these grounds to the Phoenician gods Ba’al and Tunica. Can you comprehend the desperation of a people who would go to such lengths? It’s one thing to sacrifice a goat or a lamb, but can you imagine falling on such hard times that you would offer to sacrifice your own child to a deity to try and relieve your dire circumstances?
This was happening all over the ancient world. It’s what the gods demanded. The only way to appease these tribal deities was to offer them the thing that mattered most to you — your child.
That was the cultural climate into which Jesus was born 2,000 years ago. And His birth is what makes Christianity different than any other religion known to man.
You see, when every other so-called deity was asking people to give up their children to make things right with ‘god,’ our God sent His own Son into the world as a little baby.
Our God says,
“I want to make things right with you so much that I’ll sacrifice my own Son instead of asking you to sacrifice yours.”
And that changes everything.
You want to know why the Gospel message sticks? You want to know why it’s the greatest story ever told? When everyone else wants something from you that you can’t possibly give, God offers you something free of charge that you could never possibly afford.
That’s why we must go to the ends of the earth – to tell all nations that there is hope in Jesus. Will you help us tell them?