The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. John 6:52-59
Jesus came into a world that was starving. It was and is a world starving spiritually. Jesus came to feed that need. In today’s verses Jesus is speaking symbolically not literally. Jesus often spoke using symbolic language to get His point across, especially when speaking to the hard headed Jewish authorities. In fact hey more than anyone else should have understood the symbolism.
Jesus came to be the sacrificial lamb that would pay the price for sin in the world. But the sacrificial lamb was not just killed and its blood shed for the sins of Israel, the lamb was eaten. In fact, the Passover lamb had to be totally consumed in one night. However, Jesus did not expect His followers to actually eat His body rather He wanted them to take his words and His sacrifice in and in that way be changed from their old sinful self to a new creation.
How can we know this, that Jesus was not organizing a group of cannibal followers? We only need to look at the Passover meal He had with the disciples that last week. He took the bread at the table broke it and proclaimed that it was His body and that the wine in the cup was His blood. He asked the disciples to do this, eat and drink the bread and wine, as a remembrance of His coming sacrifice. Christians continue this memorial meal to this day.
Every man, woman and child that ever walk this earth has a hunger inside them that cannot be satisfied by food. This hunger can only be satisfied by Jesus. Only when we take His teachings in and accept His sacrifice will we be able to satisfy that hunger. It is a hunger for God. We can try all kinds of spirituality and every type of religion but we will still be hungry. Only as a follower of Christ can that hunger be filled.
Have a blessed day,