It was a heart-wrenching situation. As worried parents watched, their 5-week-old baby boy was slowly dying. The doctors told them his little body was beginning to shut down. His oxygen levels were dropping; his heart, so small, was beating faster and faster, and he no longer had the energy to eat or cry. Surrounding this little one in his unit, the medical team told his parents the last resort left that could save their child was to have a blood transfusion. They anxiously agreed, and immediately the doctors and nurses went to work to provide the baby with the life-giving substance.
As the blood flowed from the bag to the newborn’s arm, something miraculous occurred. The once-lethargic, weakened baby suddenly began to move. Tiny arms and legs started wiggling and stretching with newfound energy. His face, which had been without expression, changed, and his little mouth began to smile. Contented cooing sounds emerged from his lips that within minutes grew to a full wail to alert his mother of his intense hunger. Within five minutes of administering the blood, his oxygen levels were high, his heart was beating at a normal rate, and he was able to eat his fill. A while later, as the mother rocked the peaceful, contented, sleeping baby, a nurse reported that the bag of dark rich blood was now empty and it was time to remove the tubing.
As the nurse began disconnecting the bag attached to his arm, several drops of blood fell, splattering onto the mother’s clothing. The flustered nurse apologized profusely, professing her embarrassment; she had never spilled blood on anyone in her entire career. The mother quickly brushed the minor offense aside as she watched the drops of red begin to spread into the fabric. Although fully forgiven, the nurse immediately began to do what she could to remove the stain; as she did, the mother had new insight. To the nurse, this was bodily fluid, something to wipe away. But to the young mother, what she saw in that fresh stain was the new life that had been given to her son. To her, that blood now had value . . . and it was priceless.
Pilate stood before a mixed crowd calling for the crucifixion of Jesus. He offered them Barabbas, but they refused. He offered them reason. Again, they refused. He finally laid the truth before them: choosing Jesus for crucifixion would mean they were responsible for shedding innocent blood. And the people, Pharisees, and priests alike in unison responded: “His blood be on us and on our children!” (Matt. 27:25).* While their cries reflected their readiness to accept responsibility for Jesus’ death—the shedding of His blood—could it be that these very words were what they needed most?
It’s Not Just a Story
The story of the newborn receiving new life from new blood may have touched your heart, but for me it was much more than that. You see, I was the mother in the story, and the dying newborn was my second son, Kodiak. Tears still come to my eyes when I recall the life-giving blood that saved my son’s life. I am forever grateful to the anonymous person from southwest Michigan who donated their blood type (O-negative); for what they didn’t know then, but I know now, is that their gift gave me back my son! And while I see the obvious analogy to Jesus giving His blood for me and my son, if honest, I have to stop and ask myself: Would I have been any different from that crowd back at the pre-crucifixion scene?
You see, initially, my husband and I didn’t want that donated blood. We tried everything we could to prevent a blood transfusion in the beginning stages of our son’s illness. We were blinded by the risks and what we had heard about the procedure. In hindsight, we took for granted this opportunity for healing! But our son’s condition worsened, and in the end we surrendered. It was the best decision we ever made, one that ultimately saved his life.
What then could the crowd standing before Pilate have seen had they not been so blinded? What could they have seen as they followed Jesus as He stumbled up Golgotha’s hill to a cross where His blood was shed? They could have seen the same thing I saw as drops of life-giving blood dripped on my clothing that day: priceless, precious blood. Had they surrendered their hearts, they might have understood that the drops of blood from that cross that day were for them, to save them, to demonstrate the full love of God for His children! Let’s make the cry today, “His blood be on us and on our children!” This priceless, precious blood, if accepted, will save us for all eternity.
* Read Matthew 27 for the full account.