An adolescent mummy was recently found near the capital city of Lima, Peru. Dating back over 1,000 years, the child was likely part of the Lima or Ichma cultures, ancient peoples who lived in Peru before the Spanish conquest.
But perhaps “mummy” is not the right word for the adolescent found – child sacrifice would be a more fitting term.
In these ancient cultures, people sacrificed many children to the gods whom they worshipped. These sacrifices were made in an effort to appease the gods and secure a place for the child in the heavens with them after their death.
Here in Arequipa, Peru, where I have the privilege to serve as a missionary, one of the tourist hotspots is the Andean Sanctuaries Museum. This museum is not only home to artifacts of the powerful Incan peoples, but it is also home to its most famous child sacrifice, Juana. With hair, skin, and clothing still intact, Juana, who was only 12-14 years old at the time of her death, is the most well-preserved of the many child sacrifices found among the volcanoes surrounding this area.
And while we may consider this a practice of the past, unfortunately, similar beliefs still exist among the people of 2023. While building a church auditorium for Love Baptist Church in Arequipa, the church had to use dynamite to destroy a large piece of rock. When that dynamite did not properly explode, the expert told the pastor that it was bad luck because we had not given blood to the earth where we wanted to build. In this particular instance, he was referring only to animal sacrifice, but the underlying belief remained the same: the earth needed a sacrifice to be appeased.
Moreover, it is rumored that in much more rural areas of Peru, people who live in a far more traditional way still believe in the need to appease the gods with blood, with the greatest offering that they can give being a human sacrifice.
Regardless of what is believed today or thousands of years ago, the truth remains: Jesus Christ was and is the ultimate and only true sacrifice.
John 1: 29 teaches us that Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, including those of the people of Peru, and no one before or after Him can take our places to save us from our sins.
In John 14:6, we read, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Christ secures our place in Heaven with the Father, no other can. All we have to do is believe in Him. All the people of Peru have to do is believe in Him. The people of Peru need to hear the Gospel, know the truth of what Jesus has done for all of us on the cross, and put their faith and trust in Him and Him alone for salvation.
Would you pray for the people of Peru and those all around this world who desperately need to hear the truth of the Gospel and be saved!?