Originally scheduled for August 7
The name of
Karl Landsteiner is not known to most Americans, but the results of
his research are very definitely common knowledge. Landsteiner
discovered what most Americans would call blood types: the familiar
A, B, AB, O system which is used to guide the correct transfusion of
blood between one individual and another. Landsteiner also made
several other contributions to medicine, including the discovery of
the polio virus, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in
1930. Without this system we would not be able to successfully
donate blood and have it used for another person. This is
particularly important today because most blood donations are simply
that of the red cells, not the whole blood. It is extremely
important that the blood types match. Landsteiner’s work transformed
blood from a simple fluid to an essential of the art of medicine.
some simple rules for transfusing blood between one human being and
another. The rules may be simple, but if they are not followed,
death may result.
You have to have a blood type as donor which is acceptable to the
blood type of the recipient. All those little bags of blood look the
same; the wrong stuff looks just like the right stuff.
The purity of the supply of blood is extremely important. You can
kill someone by transferring disease in a transfusion.
It may seem simple when you watch it done, but the art of setting
up a transfusion is something which is a skill which needs to be
learned. You have to know what you’re doing.
restrictions apply in the spiritual world as well. The ancient
Israelites were forbidden to eat meat with its blood still in it
(Leviticus 17:14), as the blood was considered to be the life of the
animal. Indeed, the Old Testament teaches us that without blood
there is no forgiveness of sin. In the sacrifice of Christ, our
atonement, the same principles apply.
The wrong stuff looks like the right stuff. Many religions deny the
possibility of a sacrifice for the sake of sin, but the Christian
knows that without Christ’s blood there is no forgiveness.
Only the blood of Christ will do, for only
it is pure, unstained by sin. We demand purity in our foods; we
likewise expect it in the atonement. Purity is extremely important.
The appeal to follow Christ is often a simple one, and it seems
that anyone could devise his own form of Christianity. But it is
much better to have someone who knows what he’s doing guide you. You
have to know what you’re doing.
sacrifice of the right stuff, the pure sin-cleansing blood of Christ
perfectly given to us as our Passover lamb — only this will do.
Therefore, as you take communion, do so in remembrance of the one
Who shed his blood for you.