Today I preached from John 6, specifically verses 22-58. It is a wonderful text and one that is truly vital for, I think every believer in Jesus, and certainly me. It has been an encouragement in my walk and pursuit of Christ.
The text has a confounding bit mixed in with some amazing theological encouragements. The declaration that the Father gives those that believe in Jesus to the Son and those that come to him will never be cast out. What grace, what joy to be included in this number.
The confounding piece though is that Jesus tells the crowd that is seeking after him that they need to eat him, consume his flesh, drink his blood.
Now the crowd did have some mixed motives for tracking Jesus down and attempting to force him to give them miraculous food. Just the day before he fed more than 5,000 and they sought more free lunches. But they were after temporary things and Jesus was set to provide something permanent and satisfying. Himself.
So he says that he is the Bread of Life. He is the sustenance, the provision, the life-giving portion for those that believe.
For those that reject Christ, this is a good place to throw a punch. The Savior claims you have to dine on him.
Of course when we have a fuller view of what took place during Holy Week, the death on the cross as foretold and the resurrection, we gain an understanding of what Jesus meant. That he must be seen, trusted, and pursued as the only thing, One that satisfies. That meets the internal desire for more. And that trust is in his body broken for us and blood shed to cover our sin and disregard of our creator.
This is then what we consume. A steady and daily diet of reminder of what Jesus accomplished for us. That we have been forgiven and called to life in him. That what aches in us is only satisfied in him.
As we head into Holy Week (the days leading up to the celebration of Resurrection Sunday) perhaps John 6 is a good place to linger. To meditate on Christ’s words and his promise. That we would consume the Bread of Life.