PASSAGE: "Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying 'Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:27-28 NRSV).
QUESTION: What does Christ mean when he speaks of taking upon himself the sin of the world?
COMMENT: I don't really hear Jesus “taking upon himself the sin of the world” in this passage from Matthew's version of the Last Supper. Jesus is taking the basic elements of a Seder meal and giving them a new, expansive meaning—a meaning that isn't specifically related to the events of the Passover that are being traditionally observed. Metaphysically blood is emblematic of the essence and energy of life. The “blood of the covenant” is the essence and energy of the Christ awareness Jesus has been teaching and demonstrating throughout his ministry. It is by consciously claiming that energy in ourselves, and committing it to the loving service of others, that we forgive, or dissolve, the negative effects of limited thinking. It is through this energy that we, and others, are healed, prospered and made radiant in our spiritual truth. Jesus isn't claiming to uniquely embody this energy himself. He has been urging his followers to express it through themselves, so that the energy of Christ awareness can be “poured out for many.”