11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17;11
“I do not know when the blood burns, how prodigal the soul lends the tongue vows” Shakespeare
Blood may indicate whether a person is healthy or not. The ancients believed that blood carried the life force and that the soul was in the blood. People even drank the blood that flowed from gladiators into the arena to heal epilepsy. Not long ago, to cure diseases, blood was drained from patients (40% of the total volume of blood or about 80 ounces and in today’s standards, this is a life-threatening condition/hypovolemic shock). However, later it was figured that only transfusion helped save lives. After the discovery of blood groups by Karl Landsteiner in 1901, blood tests and cross-checks were conducted on the donor and the recipient before any blood transfusion.
The eight most common blood types are: A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, and AB-. Blood group O- (negative) is the “universal donor.” Since O- group donors can donate to any individual; they are essential for saving lives. The AB+ blood type is the "universal recipient" because AB+ patients can receive blood from all blood types. Likewise, O blood is designated as the "universal blood group" because individuals of all blood groups can receive it.
Though blood transfusion saves lives, religious groups like Jehovah’s witnesses do not accept blood transfusions because of their beliefs. “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” Gen 9:4. The JW believe that if they receive blood from another person, Jehovah will disown them and that they will lose eternal salvation. However, a newly developed “hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier” provided some hope in early clinical trials.
LET US PONDER.
The scripture reveals potential scientific facts before they are discovered or known to the world. The book of Leviticus was written more than a thousand years before Christ (from 538–332 BC). Yet this remarkable fact, “life is in the blood,” was revealed to the layman Moses, which, according to science, is now true. The Bible got it right; do not drain blood and terminate life but infuse and save lives.
On the one hand, the Scripture says, do not eat meat with blood, yet on the other hand, Jesus said to his disciples, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person on the last day” (John 6:53–54). Here Jesus does not speak literally, but He spoke of His work of salvation. According to the Scripture, without bloodshed, there is no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22). In the Old Testament, animal sacrifice was meant to pay for the people’s sins. When the blood was shed, the animal was no longer alive. Likewise, it is only through the shedding of the blood of Jesus that man was reconciled to God. Two important facts emerge from the blood transfusion analogy. Just as the blood of the donor and the recipient should match (A B O compatibility), so also the spirit of Christ and the Christian. 2. When Jesus said to drink the blood, He wanted us to accept/believe in Him to gain eternal life.