Eating Jesus’ Flesh and Drinking His Blood
info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
At Jesus’ ‘Last Supper,’ which fell on the first day of the Jewish celebration of the Passover, he instituted a ritual that he told his Apostles to continue to do in memory of him and of his death.
Luke 22:19-20 says:
‘Then he took a loaf [of bread], gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
This is my body, which is being handed over for you.
Keep on doing this in memory of me.
And he did the same thing with the cup after supper, saying,
This cup is the New Sacred Agreement of my blood, which is being poured out for you.’
So, following Jesus’ instructions, partaking of Jesus’ ‘flesh and blood’ symbolizes that those that do so are expressing their desire to become part of him, or as the scriptures literally read, to be ‘in’ (gr. en) him. And now that science has given us a better understanding of what DNA does, perhaps we can more fully appreciate the meaning of what taking in a perfect DNA can mean for our lives.
You might also consider the meaning of the particular day that Jesus chose to memorialize his death, the first day of the seven-day Passover festival. For, not only did he die on that same day (the Jewish days start at sunset and end at sunset), but the purpose for observing the Passover was to remember that God had once spared the lives of all the IsraElite firstborn from the angel that passed through the land of Egypt to destroy the firstborn in that land. And this was to be remembered by sacrificing a lamb on the first day, then eating it that evening (on the second day of Passover), every year thereafter.
Also, since this one act of salvation was the beginning of IsraEl’s relationship with God, those that partook of the sacrifices were indicating that they were agreeing to be His people and to be party to His Sacred Agreement with them. And in the same way, when we partake of the bread and wine that pictures Jesus’ flesh and blood, this means that we are also beginning a relationship with God and Jesus under the New Sacred Agreement that they have provided for our salvation.
Notice that when he was speaking ahead of time concerning this coming event, Jesus said to a large crowd of followers (at John 6:53-56): ‘I tell you the truth; if you don’t eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you won’t have life in yourselves. For, those that chew my flesh and drink my blood will have age-long life, because I will resurrect them on the Last Day. Since my flesh is truly food and my blood is truly drink, those who chew on my flesh and drink my blood will remain in me, and I in them.’ (For more information on this, see the linked document, ‘The Passover and the Lord’s Evening Meal’).
Of course, as you can see;
The modern religious custom of remembering Jesus’ death by putting palm ashes on the foreheads of Christians on ‘Good Friday,’ and celebrating his resurrection on ‘Easter Sunday’ (named after the ancient pagan Goddess Ishtar) doesn’t come close to the symbolic times or methods that Jesus chose for remembering his death as a human.
And why is all of this so important?
As Jesus told us:
We must ‘eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood’ if we wish to be resurrected on the Last Day, For more information, see the linked document, ‘The New Covenant.’