• Why did Jesus choose blood as a symbolic way of saying that there is life in his blood? Tanakh clearly says that blood is life and no one should consume it.
  • I know it is very symbolic but yet why choose this when G-d specifically says no to it
  • Was Jesus opposing G-d by saying this?

Matthew 26:27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Genesis 9:4 But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.

Deuteronomy 12:16 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.

Deuteronomy 12:23 But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.

Deuteronomy 12:24 You must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.

Deuteronomy 15:23 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.

  • The reason blood is withheld from the first humanity (as made clear to Noah) is for this very reason, that blood is partaken of by a new birth, into a new humanity, only after repentance and true faith. (Up-voted +1, a good question.)
    – Nigel J
    May 7, 2021 at 12:44
  • 1
    @Yeddu 💛 יְהֹוָ֣ה עִמָּכֶ֑ם | We never need to drink/eat blood to atone for our intentional/unintentional sins. [2 Chronicles 6:36-39] May 7, 2021 at 13:05
  • Absolutely חִידָה
    – Yeddu
    May 7, 2021 at 13:39
  • Ultimately for the same reason (or lack thereof) for which He also compares the bread to His body, despite cannibalism being a sin (even if not one explicitly listed in scripture, since the many pagan populations surrounding Israel did not practice it).
    – Lucian
    May 7, 2021 at 16:39
  • Interestingly there is a section in the Talmud that talks about how one must not eat a part of the flesh of a living animal. Since people could not preserve meat, they would cut a limb of the animal and cook it. Use some herbs to clot the wound so it stays alive. Once they needed more they would cut the other limb and so on. Predators in G-d's creation are more merciful. They get the neck of the prey, kill it as swiftly as possible, and then feed. Also, hunting game for fun is mostly seen in humans. Sad...
    – Yeddu
    May 8, 2021 at 6:15

2 Answers 2


The blood of Christ cleanses us:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

The wine of the Last Supper is a symbol for Christ's blood (as the bread is a symbol for His body), which He commanded His disciples to partake of in remembrance of Him. In remembrance of His sacrifice that offers cleansing from sin.

The relationship to the blood sacrifices of the Law of Moses is expressed in Hebrews chapter 9:

11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The earlier, Levitical sacrifices did not provide the eternally efficacious cleansing needed by the human race. Rather, it was a symbol of the sacrifice that would provide that power--the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I believe the wine consumed in remembrance of Jesus' blood is not literally His blood any more than was the blood of bulls and goats His blood. Both were symbolic of Him and His atoning sacrifice.

  • I completely agree with you that this not literal and hence used the word symbolically. But why not use something else when G-d was very specific about blood. This is a crude example.... My father tells me I should not smoke as it is not right. I wrap some paper like a cigarette and even without lighting it starts to inhale and exhale. why do this at all in the first place when it is so closely linked with ciggerettes? Now coming to the point about his blood brings permanent redemption for our sins, I am assuming you are referring to Jesus as the sin offering right?
    – Yeddu
    May 7, 2021 at 4:55
  • @Yeddu Prasad this is an interesting question. I don't claim to know for sure, but perhaps it's not that blood is evil, rather it is sacred. It's what sustains God's great gift of life. So God approves of the use of blood for very specific things but doesn't want it used in ways He has not approved. Even the Levitical sacrifices had to be performed according to very specific instructions. May 7, 2021 at 5:36
  • @Yeddu Prasad yes I see Jesus as the ultimate and eternal offering for sin May 7, 2021 at 5:37
  • Please consider these points. 1. What is a sin offering? -- Please note the word unintentional when G-d defined sin offering. -- Leviticus 4:1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands --- 2. A sin-offering does not even need blood ---Leviticus 5:11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah[b] of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering.
    – Yeddu
    May 7, 2021 at 5:55
  • Please consider these verses that shows that blood is sacred to God. -- Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind. -- Genesis 9:5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.-- Leviticus 7:26 And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. 27 Anyone who eats blood must be cut off from their people.’” and many more...
    – Yeddu
    May 7, 2021 at 6:00

The question is the answer in this case. The "soul" (Nephesh) of a creature is in its blood. This was the reason given for prohibiting people consuming blood:

  • Gen 9:4, 5 - But you must not eat meat with its life [nephesh] blood still in it. And surely I will require the life of any man or beast by whose hand your life [nephesh] blood is shed. I will demand an accounting from anyone who takes the life [nephesh] of his fellow man:
  • Deut 12:23 - Only be sure not to eat the blood, because the blood is the life [nephesh], and you must not eat the life [nephesh] with the meat.

The NT takes this OT teaching and applies it (symbolically) to Jesus as the source of life:

  • “I am” the Bread of Life (John 6:35-51)
  • “I am” the Resurrection & Life (John 11:25)
  • “I am” the Way, Truth & Life (John 14:6)
  • Matt 26:27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Heb 9:22 - According to the law, in fact, nearly everything must be purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
  • 1 Cor 5:7 - Get rid of the old leaven, that you may be a new unleavened batch, as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
  • 1 Peter 1:18, 19 - For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.
  • John 1:29 - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Thus, by symbolically drinking Jesus' blood (via accepting His sacrifice) we obtain the source of eternal life.

  • 1 John 5:11, 12 - And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
  • Dotted, Thank you for your answer. I am in agreement that 1. greek text used blood as a symbol of life 2. God said that life is in the blood. 3. God said you shall not drink blood. 4. Catholics believe the eucharist is the blood of Jesus 5. Protestants believe it is symbolic. Still my question is why did Jesus use this symbolism when he chould have said say this prayer most importantly he knew God was against it. Please see my comment to Hold to the rod on mock smoking vs actual smoking.
    – Yeddu
    May 7, 2021 at 10:21
  • @YedduPrasad - again, I do not understand what you are asking here.
    – Dottard
    May 7, 2021 at 10:23
  • Dottard, Could not Jesus have used a different symbolism than drinking his blood.
    – Yeddu
    May 7, 2021 at 10:28
  • @YedduPrasad - God might have done many things BUT in His divine wisdom and sovereign choice, He chose what He did and inspired the prophets accordingly. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible writers (2 Peter 1:19-21), not us - our job is to understand the message, not wonder why it was not written another way.
    – Dottard
    May 7, 2021 at 10:32
  • Dottar, My search is deeper and more serious. I want to do what G-d told me to do and examine things that do not agree with G-d's words. The simple reason is what G-d gave is perfect and does not need change & his word is forever. Finally, it comes down to pick G-d or what man says. I Will continue to seek the truth, Will post a few more questions that are very similar to the blood question. Next is Shabbat. Still researching. God Bless. Thanks for all your inputs they are a blessing.
    – Yeddu
    May 7, 2021 at 10:42

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