Friday, October 16, 2009

Red Cross

"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18 NAS)

Henry Dunant When Henry Dunant, a Swiss banker traveling on business in northern Italy, witnessed the bloody aftermath of the Battle of Solferino between 300,000 soldiers from Imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian Alliance in 1859, he resolved to form relief societies with the objective to have the wounded cared for by devoted volunteers fully qualified for the task. In October 1863, therefore, under the leadership of Henry Dunant, along with Gustave Moynier, General Guillaume-Henri Dufour, Dr Louis Appia and Dr Theodore Maunoir, the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded was set up in Geneva, which today is the International Committee of the Red Cross. The symbol of the Red Cross has since become a universal representation of hope and assistance.

Just as the Red Cross symbolizes hope and assistance to many, the Cross which was shed in red with the blood of Christ symbolizes hope and salvation to the world. Since the fall of man, God has witnessed time and again the bloody aftermath of death resulting from the sinful nature of man, beginning with the bloody murder of Abel (Genesis 4). Since the days of Adam, therefore, God has resolved to have the 'wounded' cared for, not only by devoted volunteers such as the judges, kings and prophets, but also by all of us who believe in the Son of God. As Christians and believers saved by God through the shedding of blood by our Lord Jesus Christ and death on the Cross (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2), we are all therefore qualified for the task to be God’s witnesses. For though our sins were as scarlet and red like crimson, we have been cleansed as white as snow like wool (Isaiah 1:18).

As Christians, therefore, we ought not to hesitate to provide relief to the wounded, especially those who are in hurt and facing the agony of sin and death. We need not wait till we are spiritually mature to be qualified to do the work of God and to help provide relief to people in need, for God has already qualified us for His task when we acknowledged Him as our Lord and King. We also need not feel inadequate, because God has completely whitewashed us from our sinful past with His blood.

Thank you dear Lord for cleansing us from sin and saving us from death through the shedding of Your blood on the Cross. Place in our hearts Lord the desire to help people in need, especially those who are wounded, hurt, in agony and in need of your salvation. Help us Lord not to hesitate to do the task you have for us in providing physical and spiritual relief to the world.

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