07
Nov
16

A Simple Feast

John 6:41-51 (NIV)

At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[d] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Jesus once again refers to Himself as the “bread of life.” He says something that must have sounded very odd and perplexing to the Jewish leaders. He said that people needed to eat His flesh in order to live forever. What could He mean? They had no idea that in the not too distant future, Jesus would have His flesh torn apart and His blood spilled out in order to bring forgiveness for the sins of humanity. That His sinless flesh would indeed be a source of spiritual nourishment and sustenance for His countless followers.

When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we “eat” His flesh and “drink” His blood. We take time to remember that He gave His life for us. In the early church, this memorial “feast” was an integral part of their worship gatherings. It was important and significant every time that they came together to worship God and remember Jesus. Can we do it too often? If our hearts our callous and it just becomes some routine ritual, then yes. But if we truly focus on the sacrifice of Jesus each time we partake, then we cannot do it often enough. These simple emblems become a lavish meal with which even the finest restaurants cannot compare. They may please the palette and satisfy the hunger of our bellies, but the flesh and blood of the Son of God nourishes the soul. 

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for sending Your Son, the bread of life. Thank You, Jesus, for instituting a simple meal to remember what You’ve done for us. May I never take You or the memorial feast for granted. Amen.

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