A few days ago I was hospitalized to receive a blood transfusion. What a difference! I received two units of iron rich blood and feel 20 years younger (a fountain of youth!)
Last week, I was so anemic I couldn’t walk up the stairs. Well, I could kind of–I could take three steps, then rest a few minutes then try another few steps. By the time I got to the top I would have to lie down for 15 minutes to catch my breath ( a major hindrance to the mother of active boys.)
This morning, I bounded up the stairs, changed the sheets on all the beds and picked up toys and dirty clothes without stopping once! I never though I’d be praising God for dirty clothes on the floor. I pray I never take my health for granted again.
Thank you blood donors! If it weren’t for someone’s selfless giving I would still be very weak. (Every 3 seconds someone in America needs blood. Approximately 40,000 units are used each day in the U.S.).
Anemia Can be Very Serious
For those of you interested, anemia is the result of inadequate numbers of red blood cells circulating in the body — cells that are responsible for keeping the body’s tissues rich with oxygen. It’s the most common disorder of the blood (20 percent of the women of childbearing age are low in iron). I’m sure many reading this have dealt with it. I have been in every pregnancy (evidence for me by ice cravings or pica).
Blood transfusions are used to treat anemia as a last resort. Anemia can be very serious for heart patients. It causes the heart to work harder, causing severe problems for people with heart disease.
For women, the normal hemoglobin range is 12.3 to 15.3 and average hematocrit is 35% to 47%. My levels were 8 and 26%. (When I dropped from 9 to 8 walking across a room became very difficult). Hemoglobin below 6 for heart patients is deadly.
The Bible Calls Blood Life
The Bible calls blood life. (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11, 14; 19:16; Deut. 12:23; Matt. 27:4, 24. ) Blood is not only that which is essential to life but is also the seat of life’s power. It is usually connected with God, our life-giver.
Blood is central to theology of the Bible. The institution of sacrificial atonement, it is applied to the altar as sin offering. The Passover celebration remembers the blood on the doorposts of Hebrew houses in Egypt (Exod. 12:7) . The New Testament focuses on the shed blood of Jesus and its atoning character.
Imperfect Blood Is Only a Temporary Solution
The doctors tell me as I battle this anemia, I may need future blood transfusions. I am still anemic and need to continue to receive iron infusions once a week. The blood units I received are only a temporary solution.
In the same way, the animal sacrifices in the Bible covered the sins of Hebrews temporarily as shadow of things to come (Heb 9:2–5). The blood covered sin but never washed it away.
The animal sacrifices brought about ceremonial cleansing for the body (Heb 9: 13) but could never reach into the heart. But the blood of Christ, shed once and for all, purges the conscience and gives the believer an unchanging and perfect standing before God.
Christ’s sacrifice does not need to be repeated. He offered himself up once and for all in order to clear the way to the Holy of Holies.
The Veil Was Torn
The most significant act dealing with blood in the Bible was on the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. Then the high priest entered the inner room of the tabernacle, the most holy place, carrying the blood of an atoning sacrifice. This veil was used to separate Hakodesh (the holy place) from the Kodesh Hakodashim (Holy of Holies) – the most sacred part of the entire Temple.
The veil between the two parts of the tabernacle was a symbol of the separation between man and God. In the temple a partition wall separated these two places. In it were two folding-doors, which are supposed to have been always open, the entrance being concealed by the veil which the high priest lifted when he entered into the sanctuary on the day of Atonement.
In Bible times a blood covenant was an agreement between two contracting parties, originally sealed with blood. The Hebrew word berith is a covenant. Berith is derived from a root which means “to cut,” a covenant is a “cutting.” Circumcision is a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham. Circumcision — cutting the foreskin — was a continuing reminder that God had cut a covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The blood covenant included the cutting of a sacrificial animal into two parts, between which the contracting parties passed, thereby showing that they were bound to each other.
When Christ died, the veil was torn from top to bottom. (Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45). The torn veil is a symbol of God’s everlasting covenant with us–we can now enter the Holy of Holies through Christ!
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom…” (Matthew 27:50-51a)
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience (Heb 10:19-24).
I will surely recall my physical transformation this week each time I partake of the Passover cup symbolizing the blood of Christ.
Thank you Father!
- Woman with an Issue of Blood
- View from the Back of an Ambulance
- Object Lesson: Heart Surgery
- Object Lesson: Blood Covenant