Today we are going to be looking at John chapter 6 from verses 53-56 and reading about what it means to drink Jesus’ blood. It doesn’t mean of course that we physically drink the blood of Jesus, because Jesus is in heaven. And it doesn’t mean that the disciples who were alive at Jesus’ time were supposed to drink Jesus’ physical blood either. So let’s look at John 6:53-56 to understand what it means:
“So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.”
Jesus clearly said that we are supposed to drink His blood. But what did he mean by that?
There are 2 ways that we can drink Jesus’ blood. One is symbolically through the act of communion, also called the Lord’s table; but drinking Jesus’ blood can also be done spiritually, by believing in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Let’s first look at the Lord’s table, or as it is also called, communion.
Communion is when those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour get together and drink red juice (or some kind of wine), and eat pieces of bread or crackers. They do this to remember that Jesus died on the cross for us, to remember that His body was nailed to a cross for us, and that Jesus poured out His blood so that we could be forgiven of our sins.
We read about the Lord’s supper in Matthew 26:27-29: “And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
If we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour then Jesus commands us to drink grape juice, or some other drink, to remember that He poured out His blood for us. Jesus commanded us to do this to remember what He did for us. We can do this in a church, or in a house, or in a park, or in prison. We can use water, or bread, or whatever we have available at the time. What is important is that only those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour drink this blood. It is not meant for those who are not believers in Christ.
The other way we are to drink Jesus’ blood is spiritually. That is when we ask Jesus Christ to forgive us of our sins and then He washes us in His blood. This really happens to anyone who asks Jesus to come into their lives. The Bible says: “the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).
So when Jesus says that we have to drink His blood to have eternal life, Jesus is not saying that we have to drink His physical blood. He is saying that we have to believe in Him and accept His sacrifice on the cross for our sins. If we want to have our sins forgiven and if we want to go to heaven we have to ask Him to wash away our sins with His blood. And He is saying that we have to continue to live in Him to continue to drink His blood and live in the forgiveness He gives us.
We have to believe that it is through His blood that we can have our sins forgiven. We have to believe that we cannot save ourselves or earn our way into heaven by following the Law or doing good deeds, but that we can only enter heaven through the grace and mercy of God. God is merciful. God is kind. God is a God of compassion. But God is also a God of judgment and He punishes sins and He punishes the sinner.
So when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour there are several things that happen to us. These things don’t necessarily happen in the order that I am going to talk about them. But they do happen to each and every believer, to anyone who believes that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins.
When we believe in Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven. The guilt from our sins is taken away. Our sins are washed away by the spiritual blood of Jesus Christ. We come to Mount Zion, the spiritual Jerusalem, and meet with Jesus. He writes our names into the Lamb’s book of life. We receive eternal life and become born again. We receive God’s Spirit and are adopted by God to be one of His children. We become a part of the family of God.
This is all made possible because we believe in Jesus Christ and He washes away all our sins by the power of His blood.