Thursday, May 12, 2005 +

Cleaning With and Drinking Blood?

Posted this evening to St. Blog’s Parish Hall:


Your paper mentions Moses’ sprinking of blood on the altar and the people. To my mind, sprinkling blood on people is not beautiful. To me, blood stains:

Isaiah 63:3
I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled
upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

Imagine what would happen if in Church the bishop or priest sprinkled us with blood instead of water.

But blood also purifies and cleanses:

Leviticus 8:15
And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it.

Leviticus 14:6-7
The priest shall . . . dip the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed . . . and he shall sprinkle it seven times on the leper who is to be cleansed from leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean. . . .

And blood also washes:

Genesis 49:11
Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine, he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

Psalms 58:10
The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

Revelation 1:5
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 7:14
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

I’ve heard of bluing, but making robes white in the blood of the Lamb is supernatural.

Regarding the drinking of Our Lord’s blood. In the Old Testament, the drinking of blood is forbidden:

Leviticus 17, 10-14
And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh antonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.

Contrary passages don’t appear to be invitation to drink the blood of the Lamb:

Numbers 23:24
Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.

Ezekiel 39:18-19
Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.

When, then, Christ commanded his followers to drink his blood, wouldn’t that be to devout Jews even more blasphemous than telling them to eat his flesh?

So could you (or any other knowledgeable St. Blog’s Parish Hall habitué) write about why: a) the image of sprinkling blood on people shouldn’t be off-putting; and b) Jesus’ Jewish followers could drink his blood without feeling that they were disobeying God.