(How to eat the Lord Jesus Christ)
Have you ever noticed how people take verses out of context to make them say something they do not actually say?
Here’s one I keep running into. I’ll Highlight the controversial part, but give you the context with it. This is a passage that whole denominations get wrong!
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 6:47-58
Right off the bat, we can see that He is saying that “ He that believeth on me hath everlasting life”.
He says He is like Manna from Heaven, except the life He gives is eternal.
The denominations I mentioned before don’t keep on reading, but cross reference with another, unrelated, passage. We’ll look at that passage in a moment, but let’s read a little further in the conversation…
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not.
I didn’t see this until recently, but look at verse 62. You see, if He had meant that they need to eat His literal body, it would have been impossible for Him to ascend to Heaven, in His body!
The next verse really explains everything; “The flesh profiteth NOTHING”!
If a person had licked up some of His blood off the ground, after the crowds had left, and if they had then gone into the tomb, and snipped off an ear lobe, and ate it, they would still be going to Hell!
When He said The flesh profiteth NOTHING”, he meant that there would be NO BENEFIT to eating His literal flesh and blood! NONE!
“the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Jesus’ wording is important here; When He says “ the words that I speak unto you” you need to realize that we have no authority to change even one letter of the Word! He was not saying “the statement I have just given you is spirit and it is life”, as many take it to be. No! He was saying that ALL the Words He spoke to us are spirit and they are life!
All the words He spoke that are recorded in Scripture, from the beginning to the end, are what He was referring to! He was even referring to the quotes that Paul, John and the other writers of Scripture would use, even quotes from visions they received of Him! These are the words He spoke to us!
In a sense He is referring to Ezekiel 3 and Revelation 10 where a prophet of God is told to eat a scroll, with the words of God on it. Jesus is synonymous with His words! All of them!
What He is saying is that we are to devour His word, by reading it, and then to make His statements a part of our being, in the same way that we would take a piece of meat, eat it, and it is absorbed into our body and becomes a part of our muscles!
We are to eat Jesus by reading His Words and making them a part of our being! This has nothing to do with literally eating anything!
Here is the passage that some Churches, incorrectly, cross-reference with John 6;
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. Luke 22:20
Why is it incorrect to take this literally? Because He had already said that “the flesh profiteth nothing”! Not only this but the people of the world had already been forbidden to eat blood, after the flood! This was a command given to all the descendants of Noah, not just to the Israelite people!
3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Genesis 9:3-4
God does not contradict Himself.
While cannibalism is never directly addressed in Scripture, the few instances where it is mentioned make it clear that this is the lowest depth of degradation one can go. When Israel ate their own children it was because of a curse, and the judgment of God! God would never insist that people ate literal human flesh in order to be saved; it goes against everything God stands for!
The Christian communion service is not the Catholic Mass. The Mass is an abomination to God!
This is why the Jews were so offended at what Jesus was saying, that many of them left Him at this point; they thought He was speaking literally, just as the Catholics do today!
The Churches which teach that the bread and wine of the communion service become the literal blood and flesh of the Lord Himself, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches, are ignoring all these things He had said, and especially His statement “this do in remembrance of me”.
There is another word directly related to the word “remembrance”, that is “memorial”! Jesus was telling us that the Jewish Passover was all about Him, and Christians are to continue the meal as a memorial to what He did for us on the cross!
Paul also spoke about this feast in his letter to the Corinthians;
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The cup He was speaking of was the Passover cup. Interestingly, the cup of wine was not prescribed in the Old Testament as a part of the Passover, but was a tradition that was incorporated later. Jesus used this as a perfect symbol of His blood, but it is only a symbol. Partaking of the Passover meal does not save, except in the sense that Jesus Himself is our Passover!
Does this mean that we don’t need to take the Lord’s supper seriously? Paul goes on to say that the cause of some of the early Christians dying was because they partook of the Lord’s supper in an unworthy manner ! Yes, this is serious, but a ritual does not save! It only points to the one true Sacrifice that does save!
The big question is did you take the Words of God and make them a part of yourself? This is “eating Jesus” and the essence of repentance, and is a condition of salvation! If you haven’t, do it today!