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The Dead Don’t Bleed

After a serious car accident in Venezuela, Carlos Camejo was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials released the body to the morgue and a routine autopsy was ordered. But as soon as examiners began the autopsy, they realized something was gravely amiss: the body was bleeding. They quickly stitched up the wounds to stop the bleeding, which in turn, jarred the man to consciousness. Camejo said, “I woke up because the pain was unbearable.” Equally jarred awake was Camejo's wife, who came to the morgue to identify her husband's body and instead found him in the hallway—alive.

Enlivened with images from countless forensic television shows, the scene comes vividly to life. Equally vivid is the scientific principle in the morgue. Sure, blood is ubiquitous with work in a morgue; but the dead do not bleed. This is a sign of the living.

Thought and practice in Old Testament times revolved around a similar understanding—namely, the life is in the blood. For the ancient Hebrew, there was a general understanding that in our blood is the essence of what it means to be alive. There is life in the blood; there is energy and power.

This notion of blood and its power can also be seen in the language of sacrifice and offering found throughout Near Eastern culture. Just as it was understood that the force of life exists in the blood, there was a general understanding of the human need for the power of perfect blood, a need in our lives for atoning and cleansing. The blood of a living sacrifice made this possible temporarily, but God would provide a better way.

When Christianity speaks of Christ as the Lamb of God, it is a description [of the One] whose blood cries out with enough life and power to reach every person, every sorrow, every shortfall, every evil. He is the Lamb who comes to the slaughter alive and aware, on his own accord, and with his blood covers us with life. There is life in the blood of Christ, whose entire life is self-giving love; there is power, and he has freely sacrificed all to bring it near.

The Christian story tells of a time when we will bow before the slain Lamb who stands very much alive, though bearing the scars of his own death. He is not dead and buried, but beckoning a broken world to his wounded side, offering love and life, mercy and power in blood poured out for you.

Possible Preaching Angle:

This illustration really helps everyone, especially postmodern people, see why the “blood of Jesus” really matters even in today’s context. It was necessary for Jesus to shed his lifeblood because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin” (Heb. 9:22). Technical Note: When Jesus’ body was pierced by the soldier’s spear after his death, the blood mixed with water released from his heart showed that his death was genuine (John 19:34).


Jill Carattini, “The Dead Don’t Bleed” A Slice of Infinity RZIM.org (no date); Reuters, “‘Dead’ Man Wakes Up Under Autopsy Knife,” (11-14-07)

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