Phil Wipperman in the Facebook group “The Catholic Church is NOT a Christian Church” says and I quote; “Leonard Alt claims that Jesus Christ endorsed sin by COMMANDING people to drink blood even though he has given CLEAR COMMANDMENTS in the OT FORBIDDING the wicked behavior of the heathens. Why is this not shocking?”
Phil Wipperman does an excellent job of alluding to the Old Testament, out of context, not mentioning that the blood they didn’t drink was the blood of animals. However, the drinking of blood of animals is a moot point because no one is recommending drinking the blood of animals in the New Testament.
- Jesus commands us in the New Testament to drink of His blood and there is no prohibition against this. In fact, it was Jesus who said, “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:55).
At the same time Phil Wipperman says; “Why is this not shocking?” Phil is actually correct; it was shocking. In fact, Jesus asked the same of those who were having difficulty believing Him; "Does this shock you?” (Jn 6:51).
It was shocking because this is the only place in all of the Gospels where many of Jesus very own disciples “returned to their former way of life” (Jn 6:66). Of course, as shocking as it was, His twelve Apostles did not leave Him. Peter said, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6:68).
When Jesus said “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:55), it was very difficult for some of His disciples to believe; and it is difficult for some of us to believe today. When Phil and other Evangelicals oppose drinking blood, they are confusing the prohibition against drinking the blood of animals in the Deuteronomy 12:27, with drinking the blood of Christ, which was commanded by Jesus. It was Jesus who said, “I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn 6:53).
Many claim that the drinking of the Blood of Christ is not Biblical, even Pagan; however, that is not the way Jesus saw it.
- IT WAS JESUS WHO SAID, "Drink from it all of you, for this is my Blood, of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins” (Mt 26:28)
- IT WAS JESUS WHO SAID, after drinking from it, “this is my blood, of the covenant, which will be shed for many (Mk 14:24).
- IT WAS JESUS WHO SAID, “I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn 6:53).
- IT WAS JESUS WHO SAID,“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day” (Jn 6:54).
- IT WAS JESUS WHO SAID, “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:55).
The Catholic Church follows Biblical tradition by echoing the words of Jesus “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” However, this begs the question; is it possible for Phil and other Evangelicals to be following a Biblical tradition and at the same time not accept these words of Jesus? Yes, they have a Biblical tradition as well; they are following the tradition of the disciples who could not accept the words of Jesus. These disciples were quoted as saying; "This saying is hard; who can accept it" (Jn 6:60). These same disciples left Jesus and “returned to their former way of life” (Jn 6:66). There is one difference between the disciples who left Jesus and todays Evangelicals. The Evangelicals of today still claim to be followers of Jesus; however, they are not following Jesus when He says, “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:55).
In fairness, it should be also said that there are many non-Catholics today, who while not having exactly the same understanding of Communion as Catholics, still believe in a real presence of Jesus in or around the elements of bread and wine during their liturgies. Martin Luther and John Calvin believed in a real presence; Ulrich Zwingli did not. Most Evangelicals today are coming from the Zwinglian tradition.
- I can listen to the Evangelicals who confuse the blood of animals, with the blood of Christ and choose not to eat the Flesh and drink the Blood of Christ. Or, I can listen to Jesus who said; “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day” (Jn 6:54). Who will you listen too?
FRANCIS CHOUDHURY COMMENTARY: Any Christian who believes that God’s OT prohibition on eating blood still stands (after Christ), needs to explain why he/she eats normal meat (with blood in it), instead of eating only Kosher/Halal meat (drained of blood), as Jews and Muslims, who are stuck in the OT and do not accept Christ’s teachings, do.