Life Is in the Blood
Old Testament Scripture lesson: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement."1 New Testament Scripture lesson: "And he [Jesus] took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.'"2
According to Douglas Starr, "By the end of the Second World War, millions of servicemen would owe their lives to the then new science—and industry—of blood and blood products. Just a few years earlier, none of this would have been imaginable. Had it not been for a nationwide mobilization of the medical, scientific and military communities at the start of the Second World War, such large-scale emergency transfusions would not have been possible.
"A key figure in the effort was a Harvard biochemist named Edwin Cohn. From 1940 till the end of the war, Cohn headed a project to deconstruct blood—to break it down into its most basic components to find those most useful for the battlefield. His work turned blood from a bodily fluid into a national commodity and launched an entire branch of the pharmaceutical industry.
"In 1953, at the age of 61, Edwin Cohn suffered a massive stroke and died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Shortly after the war, he had given away the patent rights to the process he developed. Blood, he thought, should be used for the good of all humanity. He never made a dime out of fractionation."3
In Old Testament times God declared to the ancient Israelites that "the life is in the blood." And when Jesus shed his blood on the cross at Calvary, he was pouring out his life for the remission (forgiveness) of your sins and mine. And he did this freely—without charge of any kind whatsoever. The wonderful news is that because Jesus lived a sinless life, death could not hold him in the grave. Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, we celebrated Christ's resurrection and now, because he lives, all who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and received God's forgiveness will also rise again and live forever with the Lord.
"What a day, Glorious day that will be!"
If you have never accepted God's forgiveness, you can do that today by praying a simple prayer such as the following: "Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs that I have done. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me. I invite You, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as my Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my life to You. Please give me the desire to be what You want me to be and to do what You want me to do. Thank You for dying for my sins, for Your free pardon and gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Leviticus 17:11 (NASB).
2. Matthew 26:27-28 (KJV).
3. Again and again in World War II, blood made the difference, by Douglas Starr, Smithsonian, March 1995, pp. 125-138.