In Leviticus 17:10-12 we read of the prohibition against eating blood. God is said to set His face against the person who does this, in fact the person who eats blood will be cut out of the covenant altogether. The reason for this prohibition is that the life of the flesh is in the blood. Life is in the blood. And God says that this life in the blood is given upon the altar as a sacrifice for the atonement of Israel’s transgressions.
In John 6:53-57 Jesus tells the new Israel that we must eat His body and drink His blood. Apart from the eating of Jesus’s flesh and the drinking of His blood we can have no life, but if we do eat and drink we will have life and Jesus says He will raise us up in the last day. If we eat His flesh and drink His blood, He will not turn His face against us, nor will He cut us out of the covenant, but rather Jesus says if we eat and drink Him He will abide with us.
When there is a change in the priesthood there is necessarily a change in the Law. When our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek enters into history and offers a perfect sacrifice as a perfect priest, the curse of sin is reversed (Hebrews 7:11-12). The life in the blood at one time was spent upon the altar for the remission of sins again, and again, and again imperfectly. In Jesus’s sacrifice, the life in His blood is spent for the atonement for sins once. The perfect life in the perfect blood is then given to His people. Rather than sprinkling the altar and the people with the blood of the lamb, we are now welcomed to come and eat the blood of the Lamb. We are what we eat, after all.
The life in the blood of Jesus is the life that the Father, Son, and Spirit desire to impart to their people. Not the life of an animal, but the life of the Resurrected King, the One who lives to die no more is the life that is now yours.
At the Table of the Lord, in the bread and in the wine, we receive through faith the life of Jesus, the life in His perfect blood. At the Table we receive the promise of resurrection, that we will be raised up at the last day for it is the blood of the Lamb that has overcome the grave. At the Table we receive the promise that Jesus will abide with us. This life is given to you, so eat and drink.