Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blood - Day 81

Jen is such a blessing to me. She is constantly encouraging me in my walk with God and reminding me who I am in Christ. She has such a great perspective on life. I hope you enjoy her guest post for my 100 days of Gratitude.


Hi y'all! I'm Jen and I blog over at The Arizona Russums. On my blog you will find bits about my faith, my marriage, my grad school research, and our adventures since moving to Arizona. Mainly, I  hope my blog is a place where women are encouraged to love Jesus more deeply.
Okay, this is probably the strangest post I've ever written. When Jac asked me to write a guest post for her 100 Days of Gratitude series, I was delighted. I said "yes," although I had no idea what I would write about at the time. I mean, I am thankful for a lot of things... my faith, my marriage, my home, the opportunity to be in grad school, my health, my functioning legs {which I have to remind myself of every time I feel like I am about to die on the treadmill}, our church, my friends and family... I have been blessed in so many ways and I don't deserve any of it.
Very thankful for all these blessings...
However, I didn't really want to write about any of these things, mainly because I have already written about them quite a bit over the holiday season. But one night it came to me. I knew exactly what I would write about for this guest post. Here comes the weird part... I am thankful for blood. See, weird right? In all honesty, I think blood is kind of gross. When I would fall down or hurt myself as a child, I would always start crying, close my eyes and ask my mom "Is there bud? Is there bud?" If she said there was blood, I would go hysterical. If she said there was no blood, I would open my eyes, miraculously healed. I probably could have broken my arm and as long as there was no blood, I wouldn't have minded one bit. But a scraped knee... ahh! The thing with blood is that we usually only see it in the worst contexts. We get a paper cut, scrape a knee, have to get stitches at the doctor's office. Yuck. And that annoying blood that visits women for a few days each month... ugh. Not my favorite. When you hear about blood in the media, it's often associated with violence, murder or car accidents. Blood has a bad reputation. But the truth of the matter is that blood is our lifeline. Most of the time, our blood is pumping as healthy as can be through our veins. We don't even think about blood unless there is something wrong and yet it is there sustaining us, nourishing us, and uniting the different parts of our bodies. The blood is what feeds a baby in the womb. Our blood is what keeps us alive and can provide life to others. Even at it's most disgusting, blood is usually the indicator of a greater blessing. Menstruation is a quiet reminder that a woman's body was made to make babies. The blood of labor is evidence of a new life born. Even when we do get injured the fact that blood can clot and a scab can form is evidence of how our bodies know how to heal in amazing ways. God knows that our blood is our life. In fact, he says in Leviticus: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life" (17:11). God created the blood that pumps through our veins and only blood (life) can pay the penalty for our sins. Our blood represents our life, and we owe our life for our sins. God knows the significance of blood. That's why he called the Israelites to sacrifice the blood of animals as a temporary means of atonement for their sins. But the blood of animals was not enough in the long run. Human sin ultimately demands human blood. Although God requires blood to redeem sin, He also provided all the blood we will ever need to be redeemed. When I think of the blood of Christ poured out for me, I am overcome with a humble awe and quiet joy. It seems unreal that someone else would give the blood I owe for my sins. I can hardly work up the guts to donate blood {it makes me queasy just thinking about it}, yet Jesus would give up his life for me in one of the most bloody and horrible deaths imaginable. And to think of what I receive in return for his sacrifice... forgiveness of my sins, joy forevermore, and intimacy with God for eternity.
And that, my friends, is why I am thankful for blood today and always. Not only does it remind me of the life I am blessed to be living right now as blood pumps through my veins, but it reminds me of the life I will live with God forever, because my Savior was willing to pour out his blood for me.
So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
-Hebrews 13:12-

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