Blood for Sale

If you’re not into bizarre this Memorial Day weekend, don’t read any further. News agencies this week reported that a glass vial of President Ronald Reagan’s blood (reportedly taken after his attempted assassination in 1981) was being offered for sale by a British online auction house. has confirmed it is auctioning a vial containing what appears to be a specimen of dried blood, labeled with “Reagan’s name, his patient ID number, the date, and the name of the hospital’s chief thoracic surgeon” (South Bend Tribune 5-23-12).

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in Simi Valley, California, issued the following statement: “‘If indeed this story is true, it’s a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase’” (ibid). The owner of the glass vial purportedly received it from his mother, who had been connected with George Washington Hospital, where the President was rushed after John Hinckley Jr’s assassination attempt. The auction house reports that bidding is up to $11,000 for this sample of dried blood.

Beyond the flagrant invasion and violation of medical privacy that this sale represents (whether you’re a president or not)—how much is a drop of blood really worth?

Ask that question this weekend when the nation pauses to remember the supreme sacrifice that tens of thousands of American military personnel have paid in order to preserve our liberties, and the price of a drop of blood skyrockets, doesn’t it? But on this “official opening weekend of summer” how many of us will even pause to ponder the costly legacy of our freedom?

How much is a drop of blood really worth? Ask that in the shadow of Calvary, and every convicted and forgiven sinner will whisper of an infinite cost, an eternal price. “You were liberated by the precious blood of Christ, like that of a flawless, spotless lamb” (I Peter 1:19 Common English Bible). “Precious” indeed that blood, offered “without money, at no cost” (Isaiah 55:1).

Memorial Day. Because the blood that has set us free, keeps us free, “without money, at no cost,” the most precious commodity in the history of forever. Amen.

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