So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. John 6:53 ESV
When Jesus told his disciple they have to eat his flesh and drink his blood so they can have life in Him, many stopped following Him because they could not handle that type of teaching. Those who left thought he was asking them to become cannibals. These words from Jesus shocked the religious consciousness of these law-abiding Jews. No rabbi or religious leaders have ever asked them to do such a thing.
Their outrage did not go unnoticed by Jesus. In verse 61, we are told that Jesus heard their grumbling about his audacious teaching, and he said to them, Does this offend you? Evidently, those who left and stopped following Him were offended by his teaching. But the twelve disciples stayed because they trusted the Lordship of Christ and knew that Jesus would never ask them to do anything that is not spiritually edifying.
The disciples that left misunderstood what Jesus was saying. He was offering them an opportunity to be redeemed from their sins. Jesus knew that he is the perfect lamb of God who can take away the sin of the world. This could only be done through his shed blood. For without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). However, in Him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7).
This blood was not only shed at Calvary; it is also running through the veins of every believer. The blood of Jesus revives us spiritually. It has the power to cleanse us, and reconcile us to the Father. The blood also reconciles us to one another. That is why the church is called the Body of Christ. We share the same blood as members of the Body of Christ. Therefore, there is neither black nor white, Jew nor Gentile, male nor female in Christ Jesus. As children of the living God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we have the same spiritual DNA because that same blood is running through our vein.
If only believers understood their connectedness in Christ, there would not be divisions in the Body of Christ. Our uniqueness and personal preferences should not overshadow our oneness as brothers and sisters in Christ. The blood of Jesus is more compelling than our parental genes. Thus, it is not usual for brothers and sisters in Christ to share a deeper bond with one another than with the members of their family.
It is precisely because of the blood of Jesus that is running through our veins we are called brothers and sisters in Christ. Every time we partake in Holy Communion, we celebrate the life-giving power of the blood of Christ, and we reaffirm our oneness as members of the Body of Christ. Indeed, the word “Communion” comes from the Latin communion that is translated as “sharing in common.” We not only share the same faith, but we also share the same spiritual genes.
At the beginning of his ministry, Paul received much criticism from fellow Jews who thought Gentiles needed to be circumcised to be members of the Body of Christ. Yet he stood his ground and boldly proclaimed There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:4). Because we share the same spiritual Father, His divine blood is in all and through all. Therefore, let us put aside all differences so we can do the will of our Father in Heaven.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for the cleansing power of your blood. Please help us to honor the sacrifice of your blood by living in harmony with one another.