Friday, March 25, 2016

O The Blood

You see, the life of the body is in the blood, and I have directed that you are to take blood and offer it on the altar to atone for your lives and cover your sins. It is the life flowing in the blood that atones for you and covers you.
~ Leviticus 17:11, VOICE ~

This is my blood,
God’s new covenant poured out for many people
    for the forgiveness of sins.
~ Matthew 26:28, MSG ~

One of the soldiers stuck his spear into Jesus' side, and blood and water came out.
~ John 19:34, CEV ~

People tend to squirm when they learn you have a child with a severe bleeding disorder.  Given to misconceptions and ignorance, the uninformed somehow think your child is going to suddenly skin their knee and gush blood onto everyone and everything around them.  While they try to thinly veil their discomfort, the horror flashing through their heads is not easily disguised.

God hard wires humans to recoil with adrenaline at the sight of blood.  Rightly so, because death is the fate of any person who loses too much of it.  Messy and sticky, it only tends to make an appearance in emergency situations.

No one has greater appreciation for this critical bodily fluid like a person who has a bleeding disorder.  They know that this red liquid is a miraculous component, consisting of much more than meets the eye.  

The job of the blood in our body is to be a "speed boat," delivering essential nutrients like oxygen, hormones, vitamins, minerals, and sugar to every cell.  Once those necessary products are offloaded, the blood picks up waste materials from those same cells, carrying them to be disposed of by organs like the lungs, kidneys, and liver.
Diagram of the clotting cascade, necessary to form a stable clot

While this explanation of blood's job may sound simple, there are incredible intricacies involved with its correct function.  For instance, to form a stable blood clot a sequential series of over 20 chemical reactions must take place.  If one part of that sequence is missing, such as the Factor VIII in my son's blood, a stable clot cannot form.  Problems with other parts, such as Factor V, can cause too much clotting.  And someone with sickle cell disease can tell you of the intense pain they experience because their blood cells do not properly carry oxygen to cells or carry carbon dioxide and toxins away from cells.  

Blood truly is miraculous.  In fact, God tells us in the Old Testament that blood is life.  That's why the sacrifice of animals was used as a temporary solution to cover the sins of the Israelites.  It was the animal giving its life as a replacement for the person's life.  A Holy God was too pure and glorious to be approachable by someone with even the smallest imperfection of thought or deed.  The blood of a perfect lamb also foreshadowed a more permanent solution to come.

Jesus hinted to his disciples at his last Passover that he would be this permanent solution.  This is why he asked them to drink of the cup as a new covenant with God.  Receiving Jesus as our Sacrificial Savior would seal the deal, pay the price for our every wrong.

On what we now celebrate as Good Friday, Jesus made good on that promise.  With extremely sensitive skin which had already poured forth blood as he agonized with his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane the night prior, Jesus willingly subjected himself to further draining of his life through the searing pain of Roman scourging.  The added torture of crucifixion depleted him further, until with the piercing of his side, every last drop was poured out for us.

Good Friday is good because that draining of Jesus' blood for us did what cannot be done by the blood coursing through our veins right now.  Yes, the Savior's blood gives life as does ours.  Yes, the Savior's blood takes away impurities just like ours.  Yet, Jesus' sacrifice takes that blood work to an infinitely sacred level.  It grants us ETERNAL life and takes our sins away FOREVER.  We are permanently oxygenated and nourished by His grace.  The refuse of our lives is perpetually removed by the movement of His merciful willingness to carry them away for us.  His blood carries away our hell and replaces it with Heaven.

O the blood
Crimson love 
Price of life's demand 
Shameful sin
Placed on Him
The Hope of every man

O the blood of Jesus washes me
O the blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

Savior Son
Holy One
Slain so I can live
See the Lamb
The great I Am 
Who takes away my sin

O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
The precious blood of the Lamb
What a sacrifice
That saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

O what love
No greater love
Grace, how can it be 
That in my sin
Yes, even then
He shed His blood for me

Copyright© 2011 Gateway Create Publishing/Integrity's Praise! Music
CCLI Number: 5783630

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