During Holy Week, our corps sponsored a blood donation drive. Being eager to set a good example for the troops, I gave a pint of my best type O+. They asked me all manner of questions concerning my health and past medical history. After being tested and screened, they laid me down on the table and siphoned off a pint of the precious, life-giving fluid. Eventually my blood would be used either whole for transfusion or in parts for platelet and plasma. It brings a certain comfort to imagine that my blood will be used to save the life of an accident victim or to sustain life during surgery.
There is something special about blood. We have been taught that it is the conduit that carries oxygen and nourishment to every cell of the body while carrying off toxic waste products. We have a deep reverence for this sacred body fluid. Without it, we would quickly die.
No one from the Red Cross asked Jesus if He was healthy enough to give blood. They didn’t use a sterile needle to extract an even pint. A Roman soldier used a whip made of many leather strands, each tipped with a piece of stone or metal that literally tore skin and muscle off the bone. Another shoved a crown of thorns on His brow. No one was there to give Jesus orange juice and cookies or present Him with a donor’s button. No one asked if it was all right as His blood fell drop by drop into the dust of Golgotha. There on that Good Friday, as the High Priest offered a lamb for the sins of Israel, the sinless Lamb of God gave His life as a ransom for us, to pay the price and penalty of our sin.
My blood may be used to save a life. Yet in spite of all that science and medicine can do, the patient will eventually die. Jesus gave His blood, gave it to save lives from hell so that they will never die spiritually. “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities… and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
My blood will come through intravenously in a hospital for a stranger I will never know. Jesus’ blood was shed for people He knew and loved—you and me. He died not just for a transfusion, but for a transformation of stubborn, rebellious, selfish, willful sinners into God’s children. All who will accept Jesus Christ receive the gift of His life, His own shed blood to redeem us from sin. This is a gift that truly keeps on giving.
A. Kenneth Wilson, The War Cry