Robert Lowery’s hymn “Nothing but the blood of Jesus” correctly expounds Hebrews 9:22’s restatement of Leviticus 17:11 that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins, making clear that such forgiveness, however it is described, and its benefits, such as hope and peace, are given only by the blood of Jesus. Where to find Jesus’s blood is another matter: the hymn’s refrain refers to the blood’s “flow” and “fount” but does not otherwise locate its source.
In some sense, Jesus’s blood is found in the reading and preaching of His Word, but it is also found in Holy Baptism. For example, the final stanza of Martin Luther’s hymn about Jesus’s baptism, as translated by Elizabeth Quitmeyer, describes how in the water of Holy Baptism the eye of faith sees “the crimson flood” and how in Baptism the love of God reveals “The wonders of His precious blood” (Lutheran Service Book 406:7). And, Jesus’s blood is found most-concretely in the Sacrament of the Altar, where Jesus’ true blood is really, physically present in wine (for example, Matthew 26:27-28).
As our drinking Jesus’s blood is necessary for us to have eternal life (John 6:53-55), so others’ receiving transfusions of our blood may be necessary for them to have temporal life. Although our country’s blood supply depends on volunteer donors, only a small percentage of people are eligible to donate, and a much smaller percentage actually donate.
You can donate next Saturday, October 7, at the Seventeenth Quarterly Kilgore Community Blood Drive, co-sponsored by the Kilgore Rotary Club and Pilgrim Lutheran Church, conducted by the Blood Center East Texas from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. inside Pilgrim’s Parish Hall at 713 Florey Street in Kilgore. You can sign-up online at www.pilgrimlc.org/blooddrive or by calling the church office at 903-984-4333, but walk-ins are also welcome. Depending on the number of units collected, one cash prize of $25 or three cash prizes totaling $500, the latter thanks to Citizens Bank of Kilgore, will be given away to donors or donor-recruiters. Get your name in the drawing and help supply blood to our communities!
The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.