Body & Blood of Christ – June 6, 2021

CorpChristiB21.     Exodus 24:3-8.   The Israelites offered holocausts and sacrificed “young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord.”  Moses took the blood from the offerings and splashed half on the altar.  I view this blood as a symbol of the people offering their life as the People of God to God. Secondly, Moses took the rest of “the blood and sprinkled it on the people,” symbolizing that God was giving something of his life to the people.  That blood sealed the covenant or union with God. Jesus employed the language or mode of the Old Testament sacrifices, when he offered up himself as a sacrifice.

Mark 14:12-16, 22-26.  Traditionally the Jews celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because long ago they were preparing to leave Egypt quickly, when they could not wait to leaven their bread.  At that first Passover, they also marked the lintels and the two doorposts with the blood of a lamb to indicate the ones who were the Jews whom the angel would spare from death.   Jesus celebrated that Passover Meal but now offering up himself as the Passover lamb when he took the bread and said: “This is my body” and took the cup and said: “This is my blood of the covenant which will be shed for many.”   In offering up his body and blood he uses the imagery or language of the Old Testament sacrifices to offer up himself at the Passover Meal.  What he does at the Passover meal symbolically but really, he later does physically on the cross.  In receiving the body and blood of Christ at the Eucharist, we receive in a spiritual way Jesus himself into us to be our Messiah and Savior.

Hebrews 9:11-15.   “For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.”  In giving us his blood to drink, Jesus is pouring into us a share of his life-giving force so that the life we live is infinitely more that the natural life of this world.  It is rather the supernatural life of heaven, while yet we still live physically here on this earth.  His blood, not only spiritually energizes us, but also cleanses and washes away what is not of God so that we may be wholly of God, his holy people.