Why Was Drinking Blood Taboo?

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Hi L____,

Thank you for your observations concerning Christ requiring us to drink His blood.

As you point out, all of Israel was familiar with the eating of the Passover lamb, but Israel was strictly forbidden from either eating human flesh or drinking the blood of any creature because “the life is in the blood.”

Lev 17:10  And whatsoever man [there be] of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
Lev 17:11  For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.
Lev 17:12  Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.

Yes, it is true, the word ‘life’ is the Hebrew word ‘nephesh‘, but the nephesh is sustained by the “breath of God,” so the message is the same. The breath of the nephesh typifies the spirit of God which gives life. God’s spirit was not yet available under the Old Testament because the true “Lamb of God” had not yet been sacrificed for the sins of mankind.

Israel could not eat the blood “for the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you … to make an atonement for the soul.” However, that atonement was not being applied to anyone until Christ came and shed His blood. “It was not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to cleanse the things of the heavens.”

Heb 10:4  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Heb 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Heb 9:23  [It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

“Now to appear in the presence of God for us… the heavenly things themselves.” That is what everything we read of in the Old Testament prefigures and shadows and typifies:

1Co 10:6 Now these things became types of us, for us not to be lusters after evil things, (CLV)

The whole of the Old Testament experience was not for themselves but for us:

1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

So the reason Israel could not eat Christ’s flesh, or drink His blood was because the time had not yet come to be able to do so “because the life [Christ] was in the blood,” and Israel was not, at that time, capable of receiving the flesh or blood of Christ. Christ came as a reformer, and carnal Israel, was totally unable to receive those reforms:

Joh 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Christ spoke those words the night of His apprehension by the Jews, and He said of His own 12 apostles, “ye cannot bear them now.” It was not yet time that they were given to “eat His flesh and drink His blood.” Both were forbidden under the lifeless law of Moses.

Gal 2:21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Gal 3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

However, life was not given in the law. Life comes only by “eating my flesh and drinking my blood.”

Joh 6:54  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life…” What does it mean to eat Christ’s flesh, and drink His blood, and have eternal life? Here is what that means:

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Knowing God and Christ, via the Word, which is Christ, is eternal life. Christ is the true bread which came down from heaven and gives life to all men:

Joh 6:32  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
Joh 6:33  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Joh 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Here is another letter written on this subject to a young man who did not understand how symbols in scripture were interpreted. It goes into that subject as well as what is meant by drinking Jesus blood, but his letter covers many of the Old Testament scriptures which are not in this letter.

How Does one Drink the Blood of Jesus?

I hope that helps you to understand why we can now ‘eat’ Christ’s flesh and drink His blood in spite of how repulsive those words were to those who first heard them. In truth, the full import of those words are to this day repulsive to us all when we first hear that we, too, are to die daily with Christ and to be resurrected in newness of life in Christ.

Your brother in Christ,

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