Week 12 Chapter 9c
A Sermon on Sacrifice
“Eating is believing?”
A lot of the controversy surrounding this sermon was about interpreting the words of Christ! The “spin” that each person put on the interpretation was a direct reflection of the person’s heart. What was He saying?
Jesus never mentioned the cross, but He did say He was making a sacrifice, and that sacrifice would be His flesh and blood. Instead of trying to understand, each group decided to spin and justify their own positions.
When Jesus said, “I am the true bread,” the people who had just seen the feeding of the 5,000, justified to themselves that it wasn’t the greatest miracle. In fact, manna from heaven in the wilderness was better. They wanted Jesus to provide eternal food, not eternal life. They didn’t need what He was giving. In their eyes, He was blaspheming God. How dare He say He was the bread of life? Who did He think He was, God? After all He was Joseph’s son right? Because of their hearts, they missed the incarnation.
Jesus then said, while His flesh and blood was the life that He would give to them, they would reap the benefits of eternal life through Him. The response of the people was to imply that Jesus was advocating cannibalism. Again, pardoning the pun, this was the “fleshly” orientation of the people’s hearts reflected in their minds. Naturally, looking for a literal and earthly interpretation, they missed the heavenly supernatural blessing.
Jesus challenges their natural assumptions about cannibalism by asking them if His statement about eating flesh and drinking blood offended them. In an effort to raise them out of their self-centered stupor He asks, “What will you say, if you see the Son of Man ascend up to where He was before?”
He is alluding to the fact that it is only after His death and resurrection that their lives will change. It should be their gratitude, for the relationship, that causes them to “eat and drink.” They will want to do it in remembrance of Him, not as a religious rite. Read this way, one cannot see cannibalism in the act.
Jesus said that unless we eat, we could not have eternal life. While there are controversies among good scholars as to what Jesus truly meant, each man must be persuaded in his own mind. However, the idea that eating or “taking in” the sacrifice He made with His flesh and blood is equivalent to what we must do in “faith.” Hebrews 11, defines faith as the evidence of things not seen. Just as we take in bread, we must take in what Christ did for us by faith in Him. So where do you stand? What do you think? Is your faith the feast? See ya next time…