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Life is in the Blood

Life is a great scientific mystery.  Even with all of the advances in science through the years, man has not been able to recreate life or to sufficiently explain it by human reasoning.  In fact, man cannot even give a clear definition of life in natural terms.  Life is usually defined as a condition that manifests itself through growth, reproduction, metabolism, and adaptation to environment.  Such a definition leaves us unsatisfied, for it does not explain what causes this condition to exist, nor does it explain why the condition ceases at death.  Science simply does not have these answers.

However, the mystery of life on earth is revealed in the words of the Bible.  The first chapter of the Bible tells us that God created all living things.  When God made man, He "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7).  Life is continuously sustained by God, "for in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28).  Thus, the mystery of life on earth is solved, for it is granted by the living God of heaven.

As the giver and sustainer of life, God has designed the life of every man and beast to reside within the blood.  This was stated clearly in Genesis 9:3-5, for when God first permitted man to use "every moving thing that is alive” for food, He said, "Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”  He also said that He would require the lifeblood of every man and beast, thus indicating God’s domain over the realm of life.  Later in the Law of Moses, God restated these laws for Israel, saying, "'For the life of the flesh is in the blood,” and, "For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life” (see Lev. 17:10-14).

Science cannot explain life, but scientific studies have revealed God’s amazing design of our life-giving blood.  In a single system of the human body, God placed the ability to transport fuel, oxygen, water, remedies, defenses, and waste to and from more than thirty trillion tissue cells.  He designed the hemoglobin within the blood to convert oxygen from a gas to a solid via iron (oxygen "rusts” so it can be transported) and then to reverse the process when it arrives at a cell.  He also perfectly designed the red blood cell to convert the byproduct gas (carbon dioxide) from the cells into carbonic acid, to neutralize that poisonous acid with potassium, to combine the result with salt and plasma for transportation, and to reverse these processes at the lungs so that CO2 gas is released and exhaled.  All of this happens in an instant, and some have described the difficulty of this process as being similar to that of a man inscribing the Lord’s prayer on the head of a pin as he passes by after being shot out of a cannon.

Certainly, the properties of blood in the processes of physical life are amazing, but the greatest value of blood is in the realm of spiritual life.  One of the foundational truths of the Bible is that the price of sin is death, which is the loss of life and the shedding of blood (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23).  For this reason, God required the blood of certain beasts to be given as sacrifice by the Israelites, for He said, "I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement” (Lev. 17:11).  Likewise, Hebrews 9:22 states, "And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”  Yet the blood of animals was insufficient for forgiveness, "for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4).  The life of an animal simply cannot pay the price for the sins of man, so God ordained a sacrifice that would atone for all the sins of the world for all times – the shedding of the lifeblood of His own Son, Jesus Christ.

In Jesus Christ, there is a deeper, spiritual meaning to the statement, "The life is in the blood.”  By the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we all have the opportunity for eternal spiritual life.  The Lord Jesus described His own blood as "My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28).  This covenant is the new covenant between God and man, which was inaugurated with Christ’s blood when "once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26).  It is Christ’s precious blood that provides our forgiveness (Matt. 26:28), our redemption (1Pet. 1:18-19), and our cleansing from sin (Heb. 9:14; 1John 7).

Indeed, in the blood of Jesus Christ is eternal life.  In John 6:53-56, the Lord said,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

Christ was not speaking of literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood, for He said, "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63).  Jesus was speaking in spiritual terms of belief in Him by which His blood becomes the source of eternal life.  He said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (John 6:47).  Truly, life is in the blood, and in the precious blood of Jesus, life is eternal.

Stacey E. Durham




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