Summary: A funny antic while donating blood reminded me the amazing qualities Jesus’ atoning blood and making my life a living sacrifice to God. Article edited for ethoughts weekly at wit4life.com
I had a funny experience giving blood a few years ago. For safety’s sake the Red Cross requires one to be escorted to a refreshment table after a blood donation. When it was my turn a very elderly man who could only walk in a shuffle slowly made his way to my cot. He seemed about 103 years old and looked to weigh all of 92 pounds. As he approached I kept picturing a horrifying scene of him gingerly touching my arm as I saw him do for others that day, and guiding me. I would then grow faint, stumble and kill him by braking every brittle bone in his delicate body and thus causing internal bleeding.
“Come with me,” he croaks.
“I’m fine,” I say.
“I’m supposed to help you.”
“Okay,” I acquiesce.
“You should be carrying me,” he says. Now that’s dry humor. Not terrible funny, but bone dry.
There’s nothing like inspiring insecurity from a feeble and light-headed blood donor. These people can really toy with your mind as well as your veins. Either way it’s draining. (Sorry, I was compelled to pun.)
I got woozy when gave blood. My blood is good only for replacing human blood physically but it can in no way buy me into God’s good graces. Through the ages and in various cultures people have sacrificed animals and even people to find favor with supernatural power or to pay for guilt and wrong-doings. But neither my blood nor anyone else’s could do the job. By stark contrast that is exactly what Jesus blood does for us.
How miraculous is His precious blood to cover the trespasses of all of humanity. Only someone perfect like Jesus could make that sacrifice. Innocent blood is restorative. It is life-saving blood. In everyway it is “the gift of life” to all who believe. Every sin leads to death and this blood cleanses every sin as we see in Hebrews 9:14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our conscience from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
It is life giving and equally necessary as well. The writer of Hebrews was speaking to a Jewish audience. In accordance with the law, they sacrificed blood offerings of animals routinely as a wage for their transgressions. It purified them before God. Jesus Christ with His innocent and perfect blood was the final and ultimate cleansing blood sacrifice. See the Scripture in Hebrews 9:22 “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the cleanse blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” The world over and through the ages human cultures have used blood to gain favor with the powers that be.
Receiving God’s Gift of Life does involve sacrifice, but not with blood. It involves letting Jesus be your blood sacrifice and becoming a living sacrifice. See Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12:1 “Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” We do not worship God and atone for our wrongs by any blood but the blood of Jesus. His free gift is all we need. Our gift to Him is yielding to His plan for our reconciliation to Him and living in obedience after that point.
©2005 Lisa DeLay
writer, speaker and founder of wit4life.com