Written on August 23rd, 2006 - 10:45PM Last Updated: August 23rd, 2006 - 10:47PM
During one of the Lord Jesus' conversations with the Jews, we are greeted with an extraordinary truth concerning the Son of God. He is the true Life, what really gives nourishment to the human person. Although there are natural foods and drinks, they only satisfy temporarily, and that only the flesh. But Jesus Himself is the Food and Drink that gives the life that lasts forever, life for the spirit and body.
For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (John 6:55)
The more correct Greek text underlying this translation has "true" (αληθης) as an adjective, rather than "truly" or "indeed" (αληθως), an adverb, as the King James has. The flesh of Christ is the true food, His blood the true drink.
The Greek word for "food" (βρωσις) is literally food, and not specifically "meat" like the KJV renders it. It comes from the Greek root verb for "to graze." Thus "food" holds the idea of necessary, every day food, like grass to cattle.
Previously in this same conversation, the Jews claimed that Moses gave them bread out of heaven (John 6:30-31), and they desired a similar sign from Jesus to prove His being sent by God. However, Jesus told His listeners that it was not Moses who gave bread out of heaven, but rather it is His Father Who gives "the true bread out of heaven."
32Jesus therefore said to them, "Most certainly, I tell you, it wasn't Moses who gave you the bread out of heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." (John 6:32-33)
This word for "true" (αληθινον) is very close to the same word in vs 65. And "bread" (αρτον) is the common word for bread, more specifically a loaf. Greek scholar A.T. Robertson sees "true" as meaning "genuine" in this verse. Written in Greek, the order of words points out the importance of true vs unreal: "My Father gives you the bread out of heaven—the true one."
The Greek word for "drink" (ποσις) again is literally drink, the common word in Greek for such. It comes from the root verb "to imbibe" or "to drink."
Thus, together we have a very literal revelation from Christ, that His flesh and blood are real food and drink, like water and grass for cattle, like wine and bread for humans.
Everything about Christ is true, right, what is real. He is the embodiment of God, so He is in actuality whatever God testifies. He is the truth behind all the symbols of the natural world. As our bodies need physical food and drink to live, so it testifies of a spiritual need of sustenance to live. That sustenance is Christ Himself.
I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." (John 6:51)
Notice also the source, "out of heaven." Again He contrasts Himself with that to which the Jews were clinging, natural, human agents such as Moses. Jesus came directly from heaven, where the Father lives. Unlike the manna which passed away, Christ is "the bread—the living one." He is entirely different from natural creation, as different as life is from death. He lives forever, therefore the one who eats of Him will live forever. Because He loves the world, He gives His flesh for the life of the world. He sees its need for the true, and knowing He is True, He freely gives of Himself.
Jesus therefore said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don't have life in yourselves. (John 6:53)
Again Jesus reiterates the profound simplicity of having life—it is the imbibing of the Lord Jesus Himself. Because He alone is Life, no one can have life unless they have Him. To eat and drink is to incorporate something into yourself; it is broken down by the bodily systems and then becomes part of the body through the various chemical reactions. One can see how what Christ is saying was so distressing to His listeners. He, the Son of Man, is asking for a tremendous kind of unity that no one has known on earth; because He was also the Son of God He would become the nexus of Yahweh and Man. To eat and drink of Him is to incorporate God into oneself. Without it, we simply don't have life in ourselves.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54)
We cannot hope for life after death unless we have Life inside us. It will be the agent by which we are raised from the dead. That Agent, Life, is the Lord JesusChrist. When we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we receive Him, the True Food, the True Drink. He promises to raise us up at the last day, and He is able to perform this promise because He will be in us.
It is easy for some to take these verses literally in view of the Lord's Supper and stop there. However, it can be seen that salvation, or receiving eternal life, is a matter of trusting in Jesus.
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:35, 40)
There is a two-fold meaning to Jesus' words here, that His flesh and blood are really food and drink, and the true ones, but at the same time this also redefines our understanding of what food and drink are. They are physical concepts of spiritual truths, that there is a need of something outside of ourselves in order to preserve our natural life. We cannot continue unless we eat and drink. Christ is the ultimate truth behind this reality, He is what we really need to live. The spiritual access to this experience is trust in Him by coming unto Him. So it is possible for one to receive eternal life without receiving the Lord's Supper (Luke 23:39-43), but as we follow Christ we should follow Him in all things as we are able.
So we see the spiritual truth underneath this physical reality, that Christ's flesh and blood are true food and drink. Even as we partake of them in His Supper, so we must see through to the underlying truth—He is what we need to live. We must completely trust in Him for salvation from death, we must come unto Him to receive eternal life. He is the truth behind what we know as food and drink on this earth, for without Him—the True Food and the True Drink—we do not have life in ourselves. Thank the Father for freely giving Him to us, and the Lord Jesus for lovingly granting us His entire Self for our life!
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
Email the Author
I welcome your questions, testimonies, suggestions and fellowship. Please contact me by using the form below.
If you are using this form on the same page as material I've written, the form will automatically let me know what material this is.
I am using this form rather than posting my email address because of spammers who harvest addresses from websites.
30It happened, that when he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them. 31Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. (Luke 24:30-31)