Moving towards Good Friday-12: The Blood of Christ
- Dear friends,
A tea shop owner and a Catholic whom I knew in Bangalore was very proud of the crib that they had made for Christmas at his parish church. It has all the usual figures and a heart above it all, from which blood dripped in gigantic drops on to the baby Jesus. I found it gory even though we may look on it as a shadow of future events. Near my old home here is a temple dedicated to`Madan" a kind of devil deity. There they regularly sacrificed chicken when I was young. Though I did not see it I had heard of it. The priest would suck blood after wringing the chicken's neck. The `blood of Christ' brought up all these memories to me.
So why do some tell us "come and be washed in the blood of the lamb" We, in our church are told to drink the blood of the lamb. I found meaning in a book of the Theosophists who said Flesh of Christ is what he is adorned with and blood is his very life. Fr PP Jacob told me `blood is life.' The blogger at Orthodox Convert explained this further. Even before the Law, God forbid eating blood because blood is the life of the being. (Gen 9:4-5) Did not Abel's blood cry to the Lord? Later, in Lev 17: 10-12 God repeats this directive not to eat blood because the life of the flesh is in the blood. At Passover, it is the life in the blood of the lamb that saves the children of Israel.
However, when we come to Christ, we are asked not only to eat the flesh, but also to drink the blood of Christ. John 6:53-56 ASV Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves. (54) He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (56) He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him.
Again in 1 Corinthians 10:15-18 St. Paul explains `I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. (16) The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ? (17) seeing that we, who are many, are one bread, one body: for we are all partake of the one bread'
I have been told by the participants in certain healing ministries that they have been asked to imagine that the blood of Christ is pouring down their bodies. It would be worse to imagine that we drink from His side. I am speaking subjectively. It would remind me of the stories of vampires who fed on blood to sustain and spread evil. But I can now understand and accept that I share in His life, like the branches share in the life of the vine and this life has been made available to us eternally and for all times through the crucifixion and death of God as man. Today, by means of the bloodless sacrifice of the Eucharist, through the creative action of the Holy Spirit, I can share in the Life of Christ/ the Holy Spirit..
But I must also realize that I must be willing to take up the Cross daily and follow Him, not to far of lands for martyrdom and evangelisation, but in my daily life situation which I can transfigure from drudgery to joyful service through acceptance and obedience of the hardships that come my way and loving service to those who really need me and are given to my care.
It is very tough and impossible without the help of God.