Some of you have noted how my chemo schedule starts on Good Friday with similarities to being crucified with Christ. Understand, my situation bears NO real resemblance to the actual pain Jesus bore. But Paul did write of certain similarities: Galatians 2:20 states the reality for all true believers: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
It is the goal and process of the Christian life, to increasingly align with Christ who lives in us, to crucify and transform our sinful bodies. In a small sense, my immune system and bone marrow which protect and sustain my life, will be crucified, destroyed. The new marrow will be grafted into my body and start to take control.
My 19 year old male donor (from the USA) has O+ blood. I am B+ so at some point I too will become O+. So my blood will no longer live but my donor’s life giving blood identity will live in me. I will take on his immune system and allergies, if any. Jesus produces a new nature that gradually takes hold in the life of His followers. I’m not sure what the effects of having 19 year old blood cells circulating in my system will have. But I am thinking having the blood of a teenager might rejuvenate me in a number of ways. Bear with me if I develop an affinity for Rap! Seriously, I’m so impressed and thankful that a young man would willingly save the life of a stranger by signing up to be a stem cell donor. Some of you have asked if I can have contact with my donor. I understand we can send anonymous notes via the donor center and after one year can meet each other if mutually agreeable.
In the transfusion that Jesus offers His followers, there are often battles of the will involving which master will be followed. Similarly in this situation, there are usually battles between the host (me) and the graft (donor). These are sometimes short lived, sometimes lifelong, sometimes rather minor, other times serious or life threatening.
No worries today, though questions remain. The first two rounds of chemo went well; two to go. THIS is the test of our faith: is it real enough to bear the crucifixion and does the hope it offers bring absolute peace in the midst of the darkness and trial? I am confident it does. Your prayers strengthen that reality as we count down to T day zero and beyond. Doctors say days 7-10 after transplant may be rougher. I have my armor on for such a fight (Ephesians 6:10+). Your prayers strengthen us both more than you know.
With crucifixion power, the ability to endure death of self, comes also resurrection power which is celebrated on Easter and everyday, the ability to rise victoriously from that ‘death.’ I’m ‘reckoning this to be true’ in my life. Be blessed seeking any ‘crucifixion’ and ‘transfusion’ of power you may need to guide your life toward God’s best!
“I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”