Thank you for your response!
I was not trying to draw a parallel between Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac to Jesus asking his disciples to drink wine as a symbol of his blood. I was simply answering you question: "When else have the faithful been asked to act out something sinful as a symbol of something faithful?"
Fair enough. I was leaping ahead to the implication I was trying to achieve from my question. I would press against your example a bit, though, in that Abraham's was not a symbolic action, but a literal one; it was not ritual or metaphor, but rather evidence; it was not one action as representative of another, but direct action itself. To a later audience it seems symbolic, but for Abraham (and for God) it was not.
To my mind killing an innocent person is a sin. God told Noah that the person who killed another was to face the death penalty. So for God to ask Abraham to kill his son to demonstrate his faithfulness would qualify (in my mind - apparently not yours) as an example of what you were asking about.
This raises interesting questions about the episode. Why, then, do we not see Abraham object to God that what he is asking is in violation of God's own commandment? This is a separate topic, but I wonder if perhaps Abraham himself, coming from pagan background, did not necessarily see a problem with human sacrifice. He may have seen it as a separate category from murder, just as some see the death penalty or euthanasia as separate categories from murder. Thus, the entire experience may have been intended not only to give evidence of things unseen (?!), but also to bring Abraham to a more mature understanding of sacrificial paradigms.
On the other hand, this does not resolve the problem of God having asked Abraham to commit a sin. Does God ever do such a thing? Or is it more likely that the story is not an accurate representation of what actually happened? I could buy that Abraham thought
God was asking him to sacrifice his son, or that someone invented or massaged the story for didactic or dramatic purposes. Either that, or perhaps at this point in history God had not made clear that human sacrifice was sinful. Or - and much of Christianity should have little problem with this, since its theology hinges upon a human sacrifice - human sacrifice is not categorically sinful, but only in certain definitive circumstances.
I am not even agreeing with you that drinking wine in memory of the blood Christ ( sorry - Jesus ) shed is an acting out of a sin. To me, we are drinking one thing in order to remember something else. I understand to your Jewish sensibilities it would bring other things to mind.
I suppose for me the key distinction is phrasing the imagery as a metaphor: "This is my blood." Jesus could have said, "When you drink this blood of the vine, remember my blood which has been shed." This would establish the boundaries of parallelism in unobjectionable terms. But instead we have the tight imagery of proxy: the one stands in the place of the other. I do not think it is incidental that the traditional version has the celebrants drinking the blood of Jesus; the ritual moves beyond mere remembrance to an symbolic act of internalization. By drinking Jesus' blood - however symbolically - the celebrant is taking Jesus into himself, feeding upon him.
But as for Jewish sensibilities - should we not expect that both Jesus and his disciples would have shared these same sensibilities, as lifelong Jews? And on the other hand, whom would we expect not
to share these sensibilties? The early Gentile church, which not terribly long afterward spawned movements to annul the Hebrew bible, either through outright rejection of it and its God (Marcionism) or through rampant allegorization (Alexandrianism).
Seems like Jesus was often "offending" people.
I don't think it's unfair to say the quotation marks are unnecessary
Thank you again for your kind response, Mike.