Saved by Blood

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True Bible Teaching - About You and God and Your Hope of Salvation

Saved by Blood

Saved by Blood

Saved by BloodBetty was ill in hospital. She had felt unwell for months and undergone several investigations. Finally blood tests revealed that she was gravely ill and she had an operation. After the operation she was still pale and extremely weak and even collapsed when the nurses tried to help her out of bed. The doctors decided, with her permission, to give her a blood transfusion.

After this Betty told her hospital visitors; “I just can’t believe the difference − I feel like a completely new person and I am so grateful to the donor who gave blood. They have helped to save my life”.

Blood and Life

Blood is mentioned a lot in the Bible. In fact the Bible teaches that the life is in the blood. Thousands of years ago God said to Noah But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood (Genesis 9:4).

Later in the Law of Moses God declared:

"Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the stranger who dwells among you, who eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:10-11); "and It is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life" (Leviticus 17:14).

This message is repeated several times in the Law of Moses. Nowadays the importance of blood is shown in the amount of information doctors can obtain from blood samples – it tells them a lot about the functioning of many vital organs in the body. People with abnormal blood can feel very ill, but can be revitalised when given a transfusion of healthy blood. It is remarkable, and compelling evidence for the inspiration of the Bible, that the life-giving properties of blood were identified so many years ago.

Blood and Sacrifices

There is something even more important about blood. God explained this to Moses:

"The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).

The Law of Moses required the Jews to offer animal sacrifices on a regular basis. This reminded them of their sinfulness before Almighty God, and taught them that because of this they deserved to die.

Moreover, obeying these laws kept them under the protection of God in accordance with His promises (Deuteronomy 28:1-13).

However, these repeated sacrifices had serious limitations and should also have taught the discerning Jew that there was a need for a more perfect sacrifice.

The Blood of Jesus

Years later, after the death of Jesus, the writer to the Hebrews taught that “without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). It is a clear Bible teaching that “the wages of sin is death” (e.g. Romans 6:23), and without adequate sacrifice with bloodshed our sins prevent us from having a relationship with God. The sacrifices in the Law of Moses could not deliver people from ultimate death, but they served an important function, even so:

"In those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins" (Hebrews 10:3-4).

The Perfect SacrificeThere was one perfect sacrifice – the death of the Lord Jesus Christ who himself never did any sin (Hebrews 4:15). So, the apostle continues:

"This Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified" (Hebrews 10:12-14).

By contrast with the sacrifices in the Law of Moses, the  sacrificial death of Jesus allows sin to be totally forgiven – taken away. Without the sacrifice of Jesus we would all perish, but if we believe and follow him then we can be forgiven and ultimately granted eternal life (John 3:16).

For this reason the blood of Jesus is described thus:

"You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18–19).

It is the means – the only means – by which people like us who had “no hope” and were “without God” can be “brought near” to God (Ephesians 2:12-13). Consequently, God does not ask us to offer animal sacrifices, but He does ask us to respond to the sacrifice of His Son.

We Need to Respond

It is not very painful to give a unit of blood, and a healthy donor does not suffer any side effects. But, as Betty experienced, the consequences can prolong life for the recipient. Betty had to consent to being given blood, and was grateful to the donor.

In great contrast the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was excruciating and carried out in the face of mockery and physical and verbal abuse. How much more grateful should we be to Jesus for what He has done for us because his shed blood offers us eternal life.

But His sacrifice cannot be effective unless we respond and follow him in the way he said. We have no time to lose in doing this.

By Anna Hart

Glad Tidings Magazine of the Kingdom of God