“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:53-54
The images portrayed by Jesus would not have been new to the people of his day, as they lived in a culture where animal sacrifice was common. It was custom that the whole animal was offered, with a portion burned up, and another portion given to the one who brought the sacrifice, to be eaten in the temple area as a feast with his friends.
What would have been distasteful to the ears of his listeners was to be told they must drink blood. No true Jew would ever consider drinking the blood – which stands for the life of the animal and belongs to God. When an animal is killed, it’s blood is spilled out onto the ground as a way of giving it back to God.
By taking his body and blood, and eating of it, we are taking his life within us. Lord Jesus, as we approach the Table of your Body and Blood, let us desire to take your very life within us, into the very center of our being, and let you reside always within our hearts. Amen.
May God bless you.