AN AMAZING FACT: James Harrison is an Australian man who holds the world record for blood donations, having donated blood over 1,000 times. When Harrison was 13 years old, he went through a major surgery and required 13 liters of blood. Afterward, realizing that donated blood had saved his life, he pledged to begin donating his own blood when he turned 18. Soon after he started donating, it was discovered that his blood contains a rare antibody that can save babies from dying of Rhesus disease—a disorder where the Rh-positive blood of the mother is incompatible with the Rh-negative blood of her unborn child.
Rhesus disease often results in a miscarriage or stillbirth and sometimes causes brain damage in newborns. Harrison was asked to undergo a series of tests to help create a vaccine for the disease. Since then, the Anti-D vaccine created with his blood plasma has been given to hundreds of thousands of women. It’s estimated that Harrison’s blood has saved around 2.2 million babies—a gift that has affected the lives of several women close to Harrison. Joy Barnes, a worker at a Red Cross blood bank where Harrison has donated, received the vaccine after having two miscarriages. She said, “Without him I would never have been able to have a healthy baby.” Best of all, one of the babies saved was Harrison’s own grandson!
Harrison says, “I’ve never thought about stopping. Never.” Even after his wife of 56 years passed away, he was back in the hospital a week later to donate. Harrison has been nicknamed the “man with a golden arm” and has received the Order of Australia medal for his contributions.
Just as 2.2 million babies would have died without Harrison’s gift, all humanity would have died without Jesus’ saving blood. It is only Christ’s death on the cross that redeems us—we can’t redeem ourselves with any amount of gold or silver. Just as Harrison planned from boyhood to donate his blood, Jesus was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” as our sacrificial lamb (1 Peter 1:20). And just as Harrison never plans to stop donating blood, Jesus’ gift of salvation isn’t limited to a select few. There is no sinner that His blood can’t save!
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1 Peter 1:18-19