While I was packing for a trip this past weekend, Liz noticed something interesting on the bag that I was packing my stuff into. The bag I was packing my stuff into was from “Be The Match”, the National Marrow Donor Program. Because I donated my stem cells through a process called apheresis, they gave me a parting gift of a duffel bag that had my donation date on it – December 12, 2013.
On that day, I tried to model for one person what we confess that Jesus did for all of us on the Cross. I tried to redeem a person, not with gold or silver, but with my blood. (You can read about it here: Lazy Heroism) This Sunday we confessed:
“What is the second article of the Creed? (Part 2)
I believe that Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead.
What does this mean? (Part 2)
I believe that Jesus Christ has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death. . . This is most certainly true.“
I can’t say for sure because of privacy issues, but I’m pretty sure that my sacrifice failed. The person who received my stem cells did not recover from her cancer, despite the work of many doctors, nurses, techs, and myself as a donor. There is a sad, untriumphant echo of reality there. Even by shedding my blood I couldn’t redeem even one person.
That is because my blood isn’t what Jesus’ blood is. His blood is Holy. His blood is precious. It comes from His innocent suffering. It bled out of Him in His innocent death. And because of that, His blood redeemed me, a lost and condemned person.
Back to my bag. The thing that Liz noticed on my bag was the date. December 12, 2013. Three years later on December 12, 2016, my second daughter would be born. When I was donating in 2013, we were still praying for a child, and in 2016, we were having our second.
In a way, her birth redeemed that date for me. December 12, 2013 was a hard fought battle that ended in failure, but now instead December 12, 2016 was a gift from the God who gave even His own Son. My failure to redeem turned into an opportunity for Him to redeem a simple calendar date for me. December 12 will now be a day that we celebrate with songs and cake, and we won’t only celebrate that day, but we will celebrate every day of Tempest Jane’s life.
Likewise, as we prepare for the celebration of Holy Week – we don’t celebrate only these Holy days, but the entire eternity that has been given to us, redeemed sinners. Join us this Holy Week for Palm Sunday (11am), Maundy Thursday (7pm), Good Friday (7pm), and Easter Sunday (11am), and let us all celebrate our redemption and the blood that has bought us.