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John 6:47-58, Eating the Flesh and Blood of Jesus?
John 6:47-51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  I am that bread of life.  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  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. (KJV)
Believe here means “continue to believe.” We do not believe just once and that’s it! We must keep on believing in and keep on trusting Jesus. Jesus speaks of the manna that Moses had given their ancestors in the desert (Exodus 16:14-18). This bread was physical and temporary. The people ate it, and it sustained them for that day. But they had to get more bread the next day, and this bread could NEVER keep them from dying. Jesus, who is much greater than Moses, offers Himself as the Spiritual Bread from Heaven that satisfies completely and leads to eternal life. Most people today will NOT take the time to “feed on Christ.” True, it does take time to read, study and meditate on God’s Word; it does take time to communicate with God in sincere prayer, it does take time to have a close fellowship with Him, and it does take time to “feed” upon the “Living Bread.” But the more time we spend on our relationship with the Lord, the sweeter He becomes to our taste.
Christ Jesus came down to this Earth: “the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). He came to the cross to lay down His human life there as a Sacrifice to pay for your sins and my sins. Friend, when you believe and accept this FACT, you are saved.
John 6:53-58 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.  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.  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. [KJV]
The Flesh and Blood of the Son of Man, represent the Redeemer in the nature of the Man, Jesus . . . Christ and Him crucified, and the redemption worked out by Him. This includes ALL the precious benefits of redemption; pardon of sin, acceptance with God, access to the throne of grace, the Promises of the covenant, and eternal life. These are called the Flesh and Blood of Christ, because they are purchased by the breaking of His Body, and the shedding of His precious Blood. These are also meat and drink to our souls (our spiritual self).
Eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood simply means BELIEVING in Christ. We partake of Christ and His benefits by faith. The soul can be completely satisfied! Its hunger and thirst can be filled, it can be calmed and have perfect peace when we partake of Christ, our Redeemer, who is God manifest in the flesh.
Meditating on the cross of Christ makes repentance, love, gratitude and praise come to life. Spiritually, we live by Him, just as our bodies live by food. We live by Him, as the members (branches) of the Vine (John 15:1-5). Because He lives we shall live also.
Our Lord was preparing these men for that Last Supper and the institution of the Lord’s Supper. This is NOT to be taken literally because He was right there with them. He is NOT saying for them to eat Him and to drink His Blood! What He IS saying is that He is going to give His life. In that Upper Room He made it very clear that the Blood is the symbol of life. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood … ” (Lev. 17:11).
Jesus gave His life. He shed His Blood on the cross. Salvation comes ONLY by accepting and receiving Him in a most intimate way. The vast majority of the world refuse to believe this.
When Jesus gave them the bread at the supper in the Upper Room, He said, “ … This is my body … ” (Luke 22:19). There are many different emphases put on that.
The Roman Catholic church puts the emphasis upon this. This is My body. They say that transubstantiation takes place, that the bread becomes the flesh of Christ. Jesus did NOT teach cannibalism in any form, shape, or fashion. This is a wrong emphasis.
Then there are those who have taken the position of the Lutheran church, which is consubstantiation. This means that by, with, in, through, and under the bread you get the body of Christ. I think that falls far short of what our Lord really meant.
Then there are those who take Zwingli’s position. He was the Swiss Reformation leader who gave it a spiritual interpretation. He felt it was just a symbol, just a religious ritual, and that is all. I think that is probably the interpretation that most Protestants give to it today. I feel this falls as far short of the interpretation of the Lord’s Supper as the other two do.
Calvin put the emphasis on is . . . “This is my body.” The Reformed faith has always put the emphasis there, and the early church put the emphasis there. The bread is bread, and it always will be bread. It cannot be changed. The wine is always just what it is, and there is no miracle that takes place there. You don’t get the body of Christ by going through the ritual. BUT, it is much more than a ritual. I believe that the Lord’s Supper is bread in your mouth, but Christ in your heart.
I think that there is a spiritual blessing that comes in observing the Lord’s Supper. I think that Jesus ministers to you personally, spiritually through your obedience in observing the Lord’s Supper. There is no hocus-pocus, no idle ritual that we go through. It is meaningful, and it has a spiritual blessing for the heart.
I think that is what our Lord is saying is that an intimate, sincere relationship with Him is what is important. When they ate manna in the wilderness it was only a temporary thing. But . . . Jesus has something that is eternal . . . life which is eternal. We are told at the beginning of this Gospel, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).
Passages mentioned above.
Exodus 16:14-18 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.  And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.  This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.  And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.  And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. (KJV)
John 15:1-5 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (KJV)
Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (KJV)
Luke 22:19 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. (KJV)
Difficult or Confusing Bible Verses
1 Cor.3:13-15, What Motivates Us?
1 Cor.chapter 5, Should the Church Judge?
1 John 3:9, God's Child Cannot Sin . . . ???
1 John 5:4-5, Overcoming By Faith
1 John 5:16 . . . A Sin Unto Death???
1 John 5:18-20, Those Born of God Sinneth Not
1 Thes.5:23, Man's Trinity
2 Cor.2:14-17, Savour of Death, Savour of Life?
2 Thes.2:10-12, Those Left Behind
Col.3:12-17, How Believers Are To Live
Daniel 7:13-14, Christ in His Glory
Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel's 70 Weeks
Ecclesiastes 9:5-10, NO Soul Sleep
Genesis 3:15, Seed of the Woman
Genesis 6:1-2, Sons of God
Hebrews 6:4-9, Can a TRUE Christian Fall from Grace?
Hebrews 10:26, Do NOT Reject Christ!
Isaiah 53:4-5, By His Stripes We Are Healed!
John 6:47-58, Eating the Flesh and Blood of Jesus
John 15:1-6, Unfruitful Branches Burned?
Mark 3:28-29, The Unpardonable Sin?
Matthew Chapter 13, Mystery Parables of Jesus
Matthew 16:19, Keys to Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:48, Being Perfect?
Matthew 7:21-23, Not Every One Goes to Heaven
Matthew 7:6, Cast Not Your Pearls before Swine!
* * * * Matthew 22:36-40, Believers' TWO Commandments * * * *
Matthew 23:13-30, Woes of Hypocrites