I try to give a pint of blood every eight weeks and have been doing this pretty regularly since I was 18 years old. My mom had been giving blood for many years and once I turned “legal age” to give, I overcame the “fear of the needle” (they are pretty big!) and decided this was one way I could contribute to humanity.
I have no statistics about how many pints of blood are needed every day, but the local blood bank always seems to be desperate for my blood when the proper time has lapsed and I am eligible to give again! It is not an unpleasant experience and really does not take that long, nor do I suffer any ill effects from this bimonthly donation.
I even had an opportunity to help out a very needy patient while living in Belize, going to the local hospital and experiencing basically the same procedure as right here in the states.
Truly, as the scripture states, “the life is in the blood.”
I've been reading the book of Hebrews the last few days and the author succinctly states the preciousness of the blood of Jesus that was willing shed for you and me. The blood sacrifices made by the priests using innocent, unblemished animals was simply a type, a shadow of the supreme sacrifice that God's own Son willingly made in order to restore us to relationship with the Godhead. We sing songs about the Blood, we “plead the blood,” we know in our heads that Jesus died for us and shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins, but do we really understand the “power in the blood?”
Charles Wesley penned a very profound song and one of the verses states “he breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the captives free, his blood can make the foulest clean, his blood availed for me.”
The blood of bulls and goats atoned for (covered) the sins of those who had come to trust in the Lord, but only the blood of God's Son can change a life and empower that one to live a holy life where old things are passed away and all things become new. Read Hebrews 8-10 for a clearer understanding (I love the New Living Translation for these verses).
I remember a time in my life, more than 30 years ago, when I had made some very bad decisions and fallen into some rather gross sin. I was able to receive God's forgiveness after a time and even learned that I had to forgive myself (much harder for me), but I had so much shame and regret.
I remember going to visit some friends in another community and they had a devotional time, including some singing of several hymns. That song by Wesley was one of them and as the devotional leader was expounding on the truths we had been singing about, I finally “got it.”
God not only forgave me of those sins and put the memory of them in His “sea of forgetfulness,” but He also empowered me by breaking the “power” that already canceled sin still held over me!
From time to time, I put myself in remembrance of that truth, whenever any remembrance of the sin comes back to me (God forgets, but we have a hard time doing so). The power of canceled sin has been broken and we can walk in freedom — justified — “just as if I'd never sinned!” No other religion can even begin to deal with sin the way Calvary has done. God had this plan in place before He ever even made man — “before the foundation of the world,” the Lamb of God was slain. How can we not fall down and worship such an awesome Savior? He is worthy of lives that appropriate this awesome forgiveness by living lives that honor Him. And His blood gives us the power to do just that!