Have you ever considered just how bloody the Bible is? In fact, the word “blood” is found 395 times in the New King James Version of the Scriptures. The first use is in Genesis 4, when God spoke to Cain after he had killed his brother Abel, the world’s first murder: “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). The final mention of blood is in Revelation 19:13, where Jesus is described this way. “He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” Medical doctor and theologian, M.R. DeHaan wrote, “The Bible is a book of blood … wholly distinct from all other books for just one reason, namely, that it contains blood circulating through every page and in every verse. From Genesis to Revelation we see the stream of blood.”
There are many reasons for this and certainly one of the main ones is that it is blood that sustains our life. Folks have pretty much always known that, but they have not always completely understood it. For example, a few hundred years ago, the medical world didn’t realize what we know about blood today. A popular practice by doctors then was called “bleeding”. Doctors figured that if you were sick, then you’re blood must be bad, and the way to cure you was to remove that bad blood. Historians agree that George Washington died in part due to the fact that doctors removed nearly half his blood while trying to treat him from what was likely nothing more than a strep throat infection. I think that I would have preferred another popular treatment for a sore throat in those days – swabbing the throat with a salve made from dried beetles!
Today we know that our physical life is dependent on blood and supplies of healthy blood are needed in hospitals. However, the Bible makes clear the importance of blood from a spiritual perspective. Under the Old Testament Law, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of gallons of animal’s blood was shed as part of the annual sacrifices for the sins of God’s people. In the Book of Hebrews, we read about the practice of the high priest’s annual blood sacrifice for sins. However, this sacrifice of blood was not sufficient. In Hebrews 10:1-4 we read, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But 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.”
The truth is that God has always demanded blood for the atonement of sin (Hebrews 9:22). Yet, under the old covenant, that sacrifice was temporary, only a shadow of the good things to come. There could not be a perfect sacrifice, a permanent sacrifice, until there was a perfect lamb for the sacrifice. That perfect Lamb did indeed come and He offered Himself to be the one perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men, once and for all. By His blood, poured out on Calvary, we have permanent sacrifice, the eternal forgiveness of our sins. Every Sunday, we gather around the table and memorialize the body and blood of Jesus and we remember that sacrifice of the perfect Lamb who took away the sins of the world – for by His blood, and only by His blood, can we find salvation.
At the beginning of the Book of Revelation, John wrote of the spiritual healing properties of the blood of Jesus: “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5,6). No greater sacrifice was ever made than the Son of God leaving the glory of heaven, lowering Himself to become fully human in the flesh, emptying Himself of all divine honor and privilege, and being obedient to death, even death on the cross. By His blood we are redeemed from sin. By His blood we are saved.
Jesus was the greatest blood donor who ever lived.