As mentioned in my previous posts, I found this awesome devotional called Keep the Blood Warm and I am so blessed reflecting and journaling with it. Here’s Day 2 – Morning:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51)
The Man Who Gave His All
I seriously wondered if Jesus said these words primarily to offend us or the people at that time. Like seriously, people had always been slow to get His messages. Then this? They will obviously take this literally and NOT get it.
I mean, I don’t get it either. I’ve been taught that we partake of Jesus’ body during communion (a church tradition), but why does this act of partaking have to sound like a gross, cannibal act of eating human flesh?
Of course, bread symbolizes food, our source of energy and life, if you wish. And Jesus is our source of life, especially spiritual life. He gave our dead spirits breath.
BREAD…IS MY FLESH?
Jesus, why so graphic and palpable?!
Why can’t he just say turn to me and you will find life? Which of course He did mention at another time.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”
Then I suddenly remembered. Ah yes, God sent down manna from heaven when the Israelites were in the desert. (Bible scholars and non-… of course you already know this plain and simple.) I’m sorry it took me a while to remember. Jesus must be saying, I am God’s provision for you. I am the miracle you have been waiting for. I am the answer to your prayers. I am that. Yes, that.
That thing which you need that you couldn’t find in the desert you are in. I am all that. I am that which is in heaven that came down so you can taste heaven on earth. Please do not mistake me as a substitute for the bread (or rice?) you eat everyday. I am from heaven.
And if you feed yourself with who I am the way you satisfy your appetites with your favorite comfort food (or healthy food), the rewards will not be carnal but eternal. Where on earth, everything is finite and runs out, the sustenance I give you will not burn out (like calories) but live on infinitely. My life, if you let it in you, will not run out.
“And the bread that I will give… is my flesh.”
But Jesus, why do you have to keep on emphasizing your flesh? If this is something spiritual, why do you have to make us feel like we have to be cannibals to receive you?
I mean honestly, that’s the picture that comes to mind, right? We have to eat human flesh. I just don’t understand the choice of imagery.
Then I realized that Jesus’ point was not about “eating physical flesh” but HIM laying down His ALL.
See, I can tell you I’ll die for you. But that doesn’t mean I will give my body for you. I’ll just die. Sure. You can kill me, sure. But I am not offering to you my body. That’s mine. Why should you get it? I’d rather have is buried and treated with respect after I die. Or I’d rather have it cremated and its ashes gathered in an urn on an altar somewhere, immortalized beside my best-looking, instagrammable photo. Sure, I’ll die. But I won’t give you everything.
But Jesus here is saying, I will give myself. Every part. Not just my last breath, but my body, which is holy, sinless, and precious in my Father’s sight. I will lay it down. (For a moment just think about how precious your body is to you. Will you cut off a body part for someone you love? How about for a world in sin?)
I surrender my body so you can take it and feast on it. Feast on who I am. Feast on my sacrifice. Feast on my fullness. Feast on my brokenness. I was on the altar, broken. I didn’t just die for you Riz, I was BROKEN for you. I didn’t just lose consciousness. I was conscious through it all when I surrendered myself to the hands to sinful men to do with my body as they please. This is my act of surrender and love. This is me saying, I want to be yours. Will you be mine?
This season, I have really been struggling to surrender every part of myself to God. God has placed me in a rather secure and comfortable place physically. What would it take for me to be truly surrendered to the Holy Spirit? It is this: a more profound understanding that Jesus surrendered Himself, His body, to purchase my salvation. Like a Bridegroom to His bride, He held nothing back. Today, He still holds nothing back. He is mine for the taking. But will I give myself to Him as fully too?