Q. Jesus talked in many parables during his ministry. I do not think that Jesus wanted the disciples to tie him up and roast Him over a fire so they could literally eat him or drink his blood.
A. I had to smile when I saw this and not for the reason many might think. But several years before I was received into the Catholic Church I was calling and talking to people at local denominations. I had heard good things about a Lutheran Church in town. So I called and got to speak to the pastor. I asked questions and his answers were very good. Since I had already visited the church I had picked up a brochure about what they believed. So, I asked about their belief that Jesus was present in communion. After he affirmed this belief I asked, “How can you believe that. If Jesus had meant for us to take Him literally then why didn’t He just cut off His arm and pass it around?”
For you Catholic readers you are probably aghast right now by the irreverence of both the questioner and me. Now I will admit to a bit (a lot) of condescension on my part when I asked my question but I meant no disrespect and I suspect neither does the inquirer. It is an honest question.
FACT: Jesus took bread, blessed it, and said, “Take, Eat, THIS IS MY BODY”
FACT: Jesus took the cup, blessed it and said, “Take, Drink, THIS IS MY BLOOD”
FACT: Cannibalism was just as repulsive to the ancient Jews as it is to us today. They understood Jesus to be speaking literally. That is why many of them left Him at this time.
FACT: Drinking blood was prohibited by the OT Law
So, WHAT DID JESUS MEAN? He meant that he would take on the appearance of bread and wine to spiritually nourish His children for their perilous journey to Heaven. This fulfilled many Old Testament events and sacrifices. The God of the Universe further humbles Himself by becoming a perpetual sacrifice for sin.
FULFILLMENT OF OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICE
- Perfect Lamb slain for sin on Day of Attonement—>Lamb of God slain to attone for all sin
- Sin offering eaten—>Body and Blood of the Lamb of God eaten
- Passover lamb eaten to escape Angel of Death—>Christ is our Passover Lamb whoever eats will live forever I Cor. 5:7
- Blood of Lamb on the doorposts –>Cup of wine is the blood of Jesus.
- Blood put on the doorpost with a branch of hyssop—>Jesus on the cross offered wine on a branch of hyssop
- Water of Nile turned to blood—>Jesus turns water into wine–>Eucharistic cup of wine become blood of Christ
- The Bread of the Presence, kept in the holy of holies—>We keep the Presence of Christ under the appearance of bread The NEW Bread of the Presence, in our tabernacles in every Catholic Church.
By becoming present under the appearance of Bread and Wine in communion, Jesus fulfilled all of the OT types while at the same time keeping the OT Law against drinking blood.