25 September, 2022

No Tourniquet Required

by | 5 September, 2022

By Doug Redford 

Some time ago, a newspaper carried a story about a woman who called 911 after a medical port dislodged from her arm. “Blood was spurting everywhere,” she recalled. The EMS unit that responded was equipped with a new tourniquet that was designed for military use. This new design, said a fire chief quoted in the article, locks into place so that it doesn’t become loose or shift during transport to the hospital. It does a much better job of stopping the flow of blood. In this case, the tourniquet helped save a woman’s life. Stopping the flow of blood when a serious injury occurs is what we do to save life, for the loss of too much blood will result in death. 

The apostle Paul described the cup of the Lord’s Supper as “a participation in the blood of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:16). That the outpouring of Jesus’ blood was not halted meant death for him . . . but life for us. Jesus cried out as he was dying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” but the separation that Jesus experienced meant renewed fellowship with God for us. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” 

Jesus could have provided the equivalent of a tourniquet; he could have called twelve legions of angels (72,000 of them) to come and rescue him from his enemies (Matthew 26:53). But the love of God had decreed that the blood of Christ should flow that day; no tourniquet devised by man would have been strong enough to stop it. It is never accurate to say that Jesus’ life was taken from him. He made clear that he gave his life: “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18).  

The prophet Zechariah used the image of a fountain to picture the continual flowing of the blood of Christ that still carries the power “to cleanse them from sin and impurity” (Zechariah 13:1). William Cowper expressed that truth in the words of a widely known hymn: “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins; and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.” 

Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Currently he is the minister at Highview Christian Church in Cincinnati. 

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