I showed up at the Red Cross blood drive this week, having been hounded by Cara, who faithfully hounds me every year. My donations have been irregular. I tend toward anemia and very low blood pressure—my usual excuses. Jesus, on the other hand, “set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk.9:51 – the NKJV says “steadfastly set his face”).
A friendly receptionist had me sign in and read a booklet on the procedure so I would be fully informed and could pull out if I felt like it. A mob and a friend’s betraying kiss greeted Jesus: Romans read him no rights and blindfolded him (Lk.22:64).
I arrived well fed on raisins and steak and plenty of water, to keep my strength up. I had made sure to sleep well the night before. Jesus never went to bed at all, but stayed up through the watches of the night in prayer. He had partaken of a bit of bread and wine in an upper room with twelve of his friends, and that was the last meal he would ever eat before his death. (We call it “the Last Supper,” but strictly speaking it was not the last supper for the Apostles but only for the Lord.)
They had a nice, cushioned mat for me to lie on while they hooked me up to the tube that took my blood; they found a vein and gently swabbed the crook of my arm for extra protection. Jesus was made to lie on a splintered beam and a soldier or two tied his wrists and feet down. They found the place between the radius and ulna bones in the forearm and drove their nails, for extra protection from the problem of the nail ripping out of the hand through the fingers.
The pretty young blonde-haired technician came by every few minutes to ask if I was okay. Jesus got special attention too. As he hung in agony, chief priests, scribes, elders, soldiers, another crucified man, and other passersby made fun of him and taunted him (Mtt.27:39-44). My technician took only a pint of blood. I don’t know how much they took of Jesus’, but I know he gave it all.
Afterwards I got orange juice and a sticker that said, “You Made A Difference.”