Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Partaking of Jesus

"Last Supper" (13th Century)
From the National Library of Scotland

John 6:54-55
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  

This may be one of the strangest passages in the Bible!  It’s certainly one of the most unusual things Jesus said.  Jesus is Lord.  Jesus is Savior.  Jesus is Son of God, and Jesus is... food?!?

This statement reminds me of one of the objections people raise when being challenged to trust in Christ.  “Jesus taught some great things.  He always reached out in love to the needy.  But saying Jesus is the only way is shallow and narrow-minded.  I think all roads of religion lead to God.”

My first reaction is that no roads lead to God.  God exists outside of space and time.  How can we go there?  There’s no getting to God, He’s going to have to come to us.  The good news is that’s exactly what the life of Jesus is:  The Way to the Father.

The relief that there is a way leading to God is doubled when you realize that Jesus is not only the road to the Father, He’s also the means of transportation along that road!  Jesus is the track and the train that gets us there!  

Saying that Jesus is the only way to the Father is no more narrow minded than saying food is the only way to keep your body alive.  Can you imagine arguing, “Why can’t we ingest battery acid or stainless steel?  Eating only food is so narrow minded!”  The body shrivels up and dies without the nutrients it needs.  The spirit does the same without the Bread of Life!

I realize there are many kinds of food, but there’s only one food.  Something is either food or it’s not.  Jesus is everything we need:  Savior, Lord, Teacher, Friend, etc. but only One Jesus.  To eat His flesh is to spiritually partake of Him, or receive Him.  Thankfully, Jesus cleared this up in John 6:63.  To spiritually partake of Him is life!

John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed  in his name,  he gave the right to become children of God. 

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