Matthew 26: 26-28 -Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

Are Christians practicing savagery in eating the ‘body’ of Christ and drinking of His ‘blood’?


Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it an broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament." (26:26 – 28.)

C. Can a cultured man ever do such a thing? Only an ignorant savage would do it. No enlightened man would ever call the food of his disciples his flesh nor their drink his blood. This is called Lord's Supper by the Christians of the present day. They eat and drink imagining all the time that their bread was the flesh of Christ and their drink his blood. Is not it an awful thing? How could those, who could not even keep aloof from the idea that their food and drink were the flesh and blood of their savior, abstain from the flesh and blood of others?


Answer: Let us now read the entire context of the passage in question.

Matthew 26:26-28 “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 

This was in fact pointing out to the two Old Testament passages. Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.' 

Exodus 12:2- 13 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.  Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.  Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.  And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire–its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD's Passover.  'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you [are]. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy [you] when I strike the land of Egypt.”

Points to be noted:        LORD Jesus Christ instituted Communion with bread symbolic of his broken body on which the judgment of God was executed and the cup, symbolic of his blood by which the atonement is made and new covenant is established.       The lamb that was to be slained was connected to the judgment to be executed in Egypt. The blood was connected to life and was the solution for atonement.  Further, in this context, the verses are symbolic and not literal. However, there is one passage where LORD Jesus Christ literally told to ‘eat’ His flesh and ‘drink’ His blood. Let us look at that passage too.

John 6: 6:26-63 Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.  Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."  Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."  Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?  Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”  Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."  And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who

comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."  The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."  And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'. Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.  No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.  Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.  Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.  I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."  The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us [His] flesh to eat?"  Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.  This is the bread which came down from heaven–not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."  These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.  Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard [this], said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"  When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? [What] then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and [they] are life. 

Points to be noted:  To believe in LORD Jesus Christ is equivalent to eat His flesh and drink His blood as those who believe (equivalent to eating and drinking) will never again hunger and thirst.

Summary:

– When LORD Jesus Christ asked His disciples to eat and drink His literal body and blood, eating and drinking was equivalent to believe.
– When LORD Jesus Christ asked His disciples to literally eat and drink, bread and the cup were symbolic of body and blood.
– Broken body is symbolic of judgment and poured blood is for the atonement.

Therefore, Christians remember the judgment and atonement while taking part in Communion.

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