Eat of Jesus. Take him in. Understand what he did for you. Believe in it. Believe upon him. As you trust in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the power of his resurrection from the dead to overcome sin and death, you will live forever in heaven…
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
John 6:35-36, 41-44, 51-59
Jesus the son of Mary and Joseph, whom the crowd knows from his youth, is standing before them in the synagogue telling them that he is the bread of life. No wonder they were grumbling a bit. He is saying that he came down from heaven, yet we know he is from Nazareth…
Jesus will forgive them for doubting. The important thing is to preach the gospel of his sacrifice for our sins and our forgiveness and eternal life in his name. True eternal and spiritual life is available through Jesus who is the bread of life and the living water.
Things get a little stickier when he tells them that this bread is his flesh. Huh? There is no way that this teaching is to be understood by this audience on this day. Looking back a few years out, the dots will be connected. The links will form to build understanding. We have the privilege of seeing this from our side of the cross and in the full light of scripture. On that day, Jesus was miles over their heads.
The picture of eating his flesh and drinking his blood is a foreshadow to the institution of the Communion Service in which we symbolically partake in the flesh and blood of Jesus. He modelled this meal in his last supper with the disciples, and then the practice became a regular ritual of remembrance for the early church.
The manna Israel ate in the Exodus sustained them for a day. This spiritual bread Jesus offers will sustain them for eternity.
When we believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, we eat of his flesh, accepting his bodily sacrifice for us.
We drink his blood, as we accept the new covenant in his blood for us to be forgiven forever under his atonement for us in relationship to the Father.
Granted, this is complex terminology and language. Let me simplify. Eat of Jesus. Take him in. Understand what he did for you. Believe in it. Believe upon him.
As you trust in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the power of his resurrection from the dead to overcome sin and death, you will live forever in heaven.
That’s the promise of the carpenter’s son from Nazareth…