Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Giving Blood Saves Lives

I received a letter in the mail today, thanking me for my recent donation of blood to the American Red Cross. The letter commends me for doing something amazing, in that my blood has the ability to save up to three lives. The Red Cross has a need for donated blood -- they are currently only 2 days away from running out if people do not give. Blood demand requires 39,000 donations a day. That averages out to about a mind boggling statistic; every 2 seconds someone in the United States needs blood.

Blood saves life and the life of every person is in his/her blood (Lev 17;11, 14). God, the Creator, understands this and in His design, blood became very important in the Hebrew religious system. God required the blood of animals as sacrifice for the sins of His people. The Hebrew writer records, " . . . not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood . . . Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." (Heb 9:18, 22 - ESV).

The Hebrew writer, and this blogger, have the same goal. He talks about animal sacrifice, shedding of blood, and forgiveness of sin; I mention that donating blood to organizations like the American Red Cross can save lives, but we both have something greater and far better in mind.

My blood and your blood may save or prolong a physical life, but there is more to mankind than this physical existence - we are spiritual beings created in God's image. There is an eternal part of us that will spend eternity in one of two dwellings. The blood of bulls and goats served a purpose to purify God's old covenant people, but that blood was insufficient. God had a greater sacrifice in mind: Himself in the person of His Son. "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God." (Heb 9:14). Paul says the same thing in Eph 1:7 (cf.Col 1:14), "in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace."

What a wonderful God! What a wonderful Savior! Oh, what precious blood that was shed for me!

Take a moment to offer a prayer of appreciation for what God accomplished for us in Christ. Become covered by that blood by putting on Christ (Gal 3:26-27) as you obey the good news of His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom 6:3-6) receiving salvation the eternal gift of grace (Rom 6:23).

In Christ,

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