Think for a moment what it means that blood is in us to give. Whether donating to the blood bank, working for a worthy cause or giving birth, are we not really talking about more than blood cells, platelets and plasma? Do we not mean that life itself is in us to give?
To the people of Israel blood symbolized the pouring out of their lives to the God who had chosen them, redeemed them from slavery in Egypt and made a covenant with them. Moses sprinkled both the altar (which represented God) and the people with blood to show how intimate was the bond between God and the chosen people.
The story might have ended there. But the same people who had promised to be faithful later built the golden calf. On the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, the high priest asked forgiveness for the people’s sins when he entered the Holy of Holies (the Temple’s innermost sanctuary) and sprinkled sacrificial blood on the altar.
Although the value, the ritual had to be repeated annually. But Christ’s sacrifice is once-for-all and cleanses us in the depths of our hearts. Christ gave his very life for us and because of His love poured out, we now share in the divine life. In thanksgiving – the Greek word is Eucharist – let us give our own life’s blood in loving service to others.