Imagine having blood sprinkled on you. Heaven forbid! In today’s climate of hygiene and sterilization such a thing would be totally unacceptable. What germs, what diseases might be transmitted! Even the blood of animals are to be avoided. We don’t know where they have been or what they have been munching. We don’t handle anything or any person that is bloody without wearing gloves and protective clothing. Even the dentist wears gloves just to examine our teeth and gums and perform a routine cleaning.
Unfortunately, in our desire for a sterile environment we’ve lost our sense of the significance of blood, other than to donate now and then so that those undergoing surgeries or with life-threatening injuries might have this supply of life. I remember, once in my youth, holding a dish for my Italian grandpa to catch the blood of a rabbit he was butchering.
OK, if I have grossed you out, it’s for a reason. I admit to being squeamish about these things but I believe it’s worth a closer look at our carnivorous side to better appreciate what Christ has given us. Who could forget the scene from “Dances with Wolves” when the Indian cuts open the buffalo and offers the heart – the animals strength and courage – to the white man. Blood represents life and the Torah contains many admonitions from God about drinking the blood of animals because it is seen as drinking their life and making it part of our own.
These admonitions probably had something to do with many walking away from Jesus when He told them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have life. Once, when I was teaching some children, I asked why Jesus gave us His body and blood in the form of bread and wine. One answered that none of us would eat real flesh or drink real blood. God had to make it palatable for us. Oh the wisdom of children, or, more lovingly, the Wisdom of God.