I gave blood today for little Jack T. Lots of people from the church were there serving, giving blood, chatting, laughing. First I filled out a questionnaire about the purity of my blood. Had I taken this drug or that drug, been exposed to AIDS, etc. One question was “Have you ever been born in: Mexico, South America or Central America?” I don’t think I ever was, but I might have been.
After filling out the form, a pleasant lady reviewed my questionnaire then led me to a comfortable reclining chair with an arm rest. A professional young woman swabbed my arm with a brown liquid to sterilize the area where they would insert the needle. Then she removed a new syringe from a package. I was slightly nervous, but saw an elderly lady giving blood a few feet from me and she seemed fine, so I figured if she could do it I could too. I just didn’t want to start screaming like a woman or pass out in front of everybody.
“Little pinch” said the girl and stuck a needle in my arm. It was definitely more than a pinch, but only lasted about 2 seconds. I lay there comfortably. Mary B. took a photo of me and others came along and poked fun at me, asking if I was going to make it. After 15 minutes, a young man carefully removed the needle, applied a bandage, sealed up the bag of my blood, and instructed me not to have any coffee for the rest of the day. Right. I planned on heading to Starbucks as soon as I left.
Then Gary D. escorted me to the snack room, ready to catch me if I fainted. I capped off my ordeal with a couple glasses of orange juice, a sloppy joe and some kettle-cooked potato chips. Becky, Jack’s mom, thanked me, as did numerous others, and I congratulated myself for my incredible act of heroism.
I gave my blood today for all those the Father has given me. First, Judas turned me over to an angry mob who had come with swords and spears. The disciples all ran away. The soldiers dragged me into a kangaroo court, where false witnesses lied about me and twisted things I’ve said. They hauled me before Pilate and Herod, then Pilate handed me over to Roman soldiers who tied me to a post and whipped me repeatedly with a cat o’ nine tails, with its leather thongs embedded with pieces of bone and metal. My back was completely shredded and my sides, arms, and the backs of my legs were torn to pieces. My face was black and blue and puffy from the soldiers’ fists.
They made a crown from a thorn bush and pressed it into my head. They draped a purple cape over my shoulders, they paid me mock homage, bowing before me, spitting on me and smacking the crown with reeds, driving it in deeper. Tiring of their fun, they led me staggering out into the streets carrying a cross.
There were noisy crowds, pushing and yelling. I was so weak I fell beneath the crushing weight of the cross. After a couple falls, I couldn’t get up. The soldiers forced a bystander to carry my cross as they pushed me through the crowds.
On a hill outside the city, the soldiers tore off my bloody robe, ripping open the wounds on my back again. Then they stretched me out on the cross and pounded spikes into my hands and feet. I thought I might pass out from the pain, but I didn’t cry out. They hoisted up the cross and it dropped into its hole with a terrific jolt – pain shot through my arms like lightning. I hung there for 6 hours, convulsing in racking pain. My lips were cracked and my throat burned with thirst. I was suffocating. I would push up on the nails in my feet for a few seconds to catch a breath of air, until the pain became unbearable in my feet, then I’d slump down and hang by the nails in my hands and begin suffocating again. People all around were cursing me, laughing at me, shaking their heads.
Worse than all the physical pain – I hung there under my Father’s curse – his infinite wrath descended upon me. Desolate, alone and in infinite misery, grief, and sorrow, I plunged into total darkness of soul, the darkness of utter abandonment. I hung between heaven and earth, all alone, for what seemed like an eternity, until I had no more blood left. A spear pierced my side and a trickle of blood and water drained out.
It is finished. I’ve purchased my beloved ones.