As of this writing, Mary Jean Lacaba who was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf along with other two members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) working in the southern Philippines, was freed 77 days after they were abducted by the bandits on January 15, 2009. The other two ICRC staff who are still with the kidnappers are Eugenio Vagni of Italy and Andreas Notter of Switzerland.
Since last week Red Cross man senator Richard Gordon had been so worried about the fate of the Red Cross hostages. After a text message circulated that one of the hostages was shot attempting to run away from their captors, the good senator was eagerly waiting and wanting to hear for a “proof of life” that no body was harmed nor killed. But all the senator received were text messages from the ASG.
To complicate the matter, local authorities were saying that the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers had slipped out of their Indanan hideout in a forested area in Jolo under cover of darkness. It’s relieving however to note that the hostages were seen by witnesses being towed by their captors deserting their hideout.
Since the beginning of the hostage crisis, the military and police were already itching to pounce on the bandits but restrained by the authorities for fear the hostages might be killed by their captors.
“Proof of life” is also what the Bible impresses upon us when by faith we accept Jesus as our God and personal Savior. Although man has lost his eternal life because of sin, God restored it back by sending His only son to die for the atonement of our sins. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
There is no greater assurance for the “proof of life” eternal than the one who came and saved us. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions; it it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
Jesus finally won the battle for us to be freed from sin and to have hope once again for the eternal life. It took the life of our Savior, the pain and sorrows of His sufferings and humiliations at the cross to regain back our eternal destiny lost at the Eden because of sin. Yes Jesus was sent on earth to serve not only as a “proof of life” but He restored man’s eternal life Himself. He did it because of His everlasting love to mankind.
As we commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ this Holy Week, let us not forget to pray for Divine enlightenment that we may see the light and live in faith in in the righeousness and glory of God. Let us not forget to pray also for those who are still living in darkness that they may have faith in God again, love other people, and lead a morally upright life. In this, we pray for our leaders and politicians that they may have the moral integrity to lead in the affairs of our government. Let us also pray for our divided land people, that there will be peace, unity, and progress.
Yes, if we can only set aside our socio-political-economic differences, we can move on to progress. Yes there is “proof of life;”a progressive and meaningful life we can learn to live together as children of God. After all our destiny is not sealed in this earthbound life alone but in the “life to come.”