One morning while driving to work I noticed a billboard that read, “Give Blood and Save a Life” and this caused me to think back to a time when I saw the entire nation rally together in a movement to donate blood. It was a moment in time when people turned out in droves and quickly overwhelmed blood centers across America and lines spanned city blocks in some cases. It was a time when Americans from all walks of life banded together for the common good and well being of his/her neighbor – a time when our hearts poured out to those who were suffering and in need. It was a time when neighbors loved their neighbors as they loved themselves and churches across America were packed with standing room only for these were the days following 9/11. The Old Testament Hebrew word for blood is "dam" (pronounced dawm) meaning that which when shed causes death of man or an animal, or as an analogy can refer to the juice of a grape. The New Testament Greek word for blood is "haima" (pronounced hah’ee-mah) and it holds the same meaning as that of its Hebrew counterpart. However, it does carry an additional resounding meaning - the atoning work of Christ on the cross.
The adult body has about 10 pints of blood – blood that carries vital oxygen and nutrients to tissues throughout the body. Blood also carries hormones that regulate select body functions and it carries waste products to the kidneys. In fact, a loss of about 4 pints of blood from the human body is life threatening without medical attention. Did you know the United States and Canada use about 43,000 pints of blood every day and of which a single pint can save up to three lives? Did you know that 4.5 million Americans would need a blood transfusion each year? (Statistics from America’s Blood Centers)
Indeed, we all know that blood is vital to the physical survival of our bodies, but what about the spiritual survival of our soul. Nearly 2000 years ago, a single blood donor - Jesus Christ - gave His all for a suffering and lost people. Precious blood that was not carefully taken and stored, but poured out on the ground – poured out for those whom He loved so that they too, could have eternal life. The bible teaches that blood represents life (ref. Gen 9:4). Unlike the blood that is donated by man - blood that only prolongs one’s mortal life - the shed blood of Jesus brings forth not only the forgiveness of sin, but also the redemption of our soul and the promise of eternal life.
Dear friend, imagine you were in a terrible accident and you had already lost some two pints of blood. The paramedics manage to stop the bleeding on scene and are now rushing you to the nearest medical facility to replenish your body with needed blood. Here is the question - will you accept this gladly or will you look up at the physician and refuse this life saving blood? My guess is you would accept it gladly because at that point, you would realize the severity of your injuries and of your helplessness to save yourself. Moreover, you would realize your desperate need for a physician to intercede and save your life.
Would you be surprised to know that this example describes the spiritual state of millions of people today who suffer from the injuries of sin? Does this describe you dear friend? Do you realize the severity of your injury and of your helplessness to save yourself? Do you have a desperate need for the Great Physician to intercede on your behalf and save your eternal life? The good news is dear friend, he already has!
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
It is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that we have forgiveness of our sins and the cleansing of our soul and knowing this you are now faced with one ultimate question. Will you accept His cleansing blood gladly or will you look up at the Great Physician and refuse His gift of grace? If you answered yes in the example above, how could you possibly say no to the reality of your situation now?
The price has been paid by the ultimate blood donor Jesus Christ whose life saving blood holds the power to save all the generations of the world. If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord and be cleansed by His life saving blood then all you need do is call upon His name right now.
You can either lift up your own prayer or use the following as a guide, but remember, you must confess that you are a sinner and that you believe Jesus is the Son of God. You proclaim that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and that God raised Him from the dead. You must do this with a heart of repentance meaning you will turn away from what is displeasing to God. Understand that you are not coming to Christ by way of intellectual ascent, but by faith and spiritual calling - there is a difference my friend! Lift your voice up to the Lord.
"Father, I know I am a sinner and I ask for your forgiveness with a penitent heart. I believe by faith that Jesus is your only begotten Son who died on a cross for my sins. I also believe that you raised Him from the dead and that He is now seated at Your right hand. I humbly confess Him as my Savior and Lord and welcome the Holy Spirit in my life to help me obey and do your will for the rest of my life. This I confess to you Father this day in the blessed and Holy name of your Son Jesus - Amen."
If you prayed that prayer or lifted up your own inviting Jesus to come in to your life as your Savior and Lord, welcome to the body of Christ. I would also encourage you to contact your local bible-believing bible preaching church and speak with a counselor. Tell that person what you have done and he/she will gladly assist you as a newborn child of God.
It is wonderful to see that we, as Americans, are willing to rush to our fellow compatriots in times of crisis and donate blood. However, it is all too saddening to see that we, as Christians, are often hesitant or even unwilling to share the gospel with those lost in dark and dying world. Dear brother/sister, be encouraged to go out and share the message of Jesus Christ today and help save a life for all eternity.
Have a blessed week!
About the Author: My name is Darryl Orrell and I am an aspiring pastor and dedicated servant of God in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the entire world. I write weekly devotions in the hope of inspiring other fellow believers as well as leading those who are yet lost in darkness to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. You can find me on the web at http://thoughtof-theweek.blogspot.com