gnawing on and drinking the sacrifice

marmsky June 2018 (12)

gnawing on and drinking the sacrifice

Devotions from Jefferson Vann # 2410

John 6:52-58

Joh 6:52 At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Joh 6:53 That is why Jesus said to them, “I honestly tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves.
Joh 6:54 The one who gnaws on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day,
Joh 6:55 because my flesh is a true consumable and my blood is a true drink.
Joh 6:56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood stays in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who gnaws on me will live because of me.
Joh 6:58 This is the bread that came down from the sky; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate– and they died. The one who eats this bread will live into the age.”

gnawing on and drinking the sacrifice

The antagonistic Jewish audience had refused to accept Jesus as the new manna from the sky. Now, he goes on to an even more difficult metaphor. He compares himself to the Old Testament sacrifices, particularly the ones that were to be consumed by the worshippers. These sacrifices were like sharing a meal with God the king, and symbolized the shared relationship and covenant with God.

The referent does not change with this new metaphor. Gnawing on the flesh and drinking the blood of this new sacrifice still means believing in Jesus (6:47). But Jesus changes the metaphor because gnawing on the flesh and drinking the blood are actions tied to the covenant aspect of the consumable sacrifices. Believers celebrate that covenant relationship every time we partake of the symbolic meal that commemorates Christ’s death on the cross.

LORD, thank you for providing the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and thank you that we share a relationship with you because of his sacrifice.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a former Christian missionary.
This entry was posted in communion, faith, Jesus Christ and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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