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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"A New Medicine"

June 6, 2007

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The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7b

The records of any church more than a 100-years-old will tell you that influenza can be a nasty beast.

If you are a member at such a church, I encourage you to take a quick look at the official records. Beginning with the year 1910, look at the section marked DEATHS. Without sitting by your side, I can tell you what you will find. In 1910, people died from all kinds of diseases and accidents. The same was true in 1911, 1912, and 1913. But when you reach the year 1918, things will change. In the DEATHS column, you will see one word written over and over again. That word is influenza. In 1918, the world was brought low by an influenza strain of catastrophic potency. The death toll was somewhere between 30 and 60 million people.

Scientists say killing strains of flu like that of 1918 don’t happen often, but they do happen. When they do happen, brother, “Watch out!” “Watching out” is exactly what they’ve been doing toward the Bird-flu. If the bird flu mutates and becomes transferable between humans, we’re in big trouble. It will be 1918 all over again.

Maybe that explains why so many people were pleased last week when researchers said there is hope. They believe it is possible to stockpile Bird-flu antibodies. If they’re right, and the stockpiling works, millions of lives might be saved.

Of course, there is only one question, “Where will we get Bird-flu antibodies?” Science once again provides the answer. We can get those antibodies from the blood of people who caught the illness and survived. In short, others may live because of the blood of someone who has defeated death.

The idea of being saved by someone else’s blood isn’t a new idea. God said the same thing: when He inspired the Apostle John to write, “the blood of Jesus… cleanses us from all sin.” Saint Paul agreed when he said, “In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood” (Ephesians 1:7a). Because of Jesus’ blood shed upon Calvary’s cross, we can be washed of our sins. Because Jesus defeated death with His resurrection on the third day, we are redeemed, and believers are saved.

I pray scientists will, someday, be able to save millions of lives by someone’s blood. But I am already giving thanks that Jesus, through the shedding of His blood, has made it possible for all to be saved.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks that I have been washed of my sin by your holy precious blood. May all the world know the greatness of your grace, the salvation which comes through your Sacrifice. In Your name, Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 109-110,138    John 16

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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