It’s pretty easy to buy presents for people these days. One-click on Amazon or Target or your store of choice and the present is purchased, wrapped, and shipped.
But I want you to stop for a minute and visualize something. Use your imagination. It won’t leave a mark . . . or maybe it will.
Imagine you’re about to buy a present for someone, but the only way you can pay for it is to sell some of your blood! Pretend there’s no other way . . . your regular money and credit cards are no good. Only by selling a pint of your blood can you get this present. It’s a needle stick, a half-hour on the table, a plastic bag filled with deep red blood drained from your veins, and a cotton ball taped to the pit of your elbow. That’s the deal.
That person and that gift would mean a lot to you, wouldn’t it? You’d only pay that kind of price for someone you love a whole lot, right?
Now turn it around. Think how you’d feel if you received a gift from someone knowing they’d given their blood to pay for it! That present would have a real gravity, wouldn’t it?
Blood is a big deal.
Now let’s be extreme. What if the gift cost twelve pints of blood? Since that’s how much blood’s in your body, the gift is going to cost your life. Imagine lying down on a table, watching the needle go in your arm, and the blood starting to run out. Literally giving your life to buy a gift for someone you love.
Now flip it over. Imagine receiving a gift knowing the person who sent it laid down on a table and purchased the present with his lifeblood. You’d be in shock. Stunned. No way to even start expressing gratitude. You’d be freaked out. That gift would be your most treasured possession. Forever.
This is exactly what Jesus did. Of his own volition, motivated only by love, He gave all of his blood to purchase a gift for us. We think the Romans or the Jews killed Him, but His friend John heard him say, “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily” (John 10:18). A gift, given out of inexplicable love for you and me. It’s hard for me to comprehend that God loves me that much. But He does.
And what’s the gift?
Forgiveness . . . for every single sin. Past, present, and future. Right-standing with God, both for the rest of our earthly life and for the life that comes after we die.
We don’t sing much about “the blood” anymore. It’s too gruesome and raises too many controversial theological questions. But don’t let that take away the vivid reality of the Son of God giving his twelve pints of blood to buy the gift of forgiveness for you. Jesus’ horrific death isn’t a fairy tale. It really happened.
Grace is not cheap. It was purchased with blood.
Challenge: Stop for a few minutes today and meditate on the fact that Jesus voluntarily gave his life so we could live?