Eating & Drinking the Life of Jesus
by Jonathan Bailey
53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”
This teaching by Jesus caused some real problems for the people around Him. It didn’t matter if the person was a pharisee or a follower they struggled with the statement. Whenever we hear difficult statements or teachings from Jesus we should rejoice! Because most likely it is rubbing up against our sense of propriety or dethroning our ego. Difficult statements about Jesus separate the sheep from the goats. You find out pretty quick who believes and who doesn’t. What Jesus discovers (which He already knew) is there are people on the Jesus train that didn’t plan on riding all the way to calvary. But I am not so much interested in that part of the story. I want to talk about eating and drinking the life of Jesus.
Jesus is likening His own body to the manna that came out of heaven. We could stop there and just talk about the amazing symbolism of Jesus incarnation, but what does it mean that Jesus is manna. Nobody really knew what manna was back then, however the Israelites were to consume it daily for sustenance. The Israelites ate and were satisfied. They were commanded to only gather enough for each day, this was to build some discipline in their lives. They were to rely and trust each day on the sustenance brought by God.
I wonder if we have considered the idea of consuming Jesus daily for the sustenance of not only our bodies, but souls?
Experiment 010: Eating & Drinking the Life of Jesus
The experiment this week is to take the remaining days left in the week and consume Jesus each day. Just like the Israelites had to daily gather and consume manna; we should also daily consume Jesus. I offer a few examples of “consumption” to get you started this week.
Wednesday: Read the Sermon on the Mount in one sitting and journal your thoughts and questions. (Matthew 5-7)
Thursday: Take a friend to lunch and buy their meal. Offering hospitality and sacrificing some of your money is great way of taking up your cross.
Friday: Find a quiet place to meditate for 25 minutes on Mark 1:35,36a. Be still and quiet just like Jesus was. Enjoy His presence with you.
Saturday: Read psalm 23 and substitute all of the personal pronouns with Jesus. Why? Because you get this overwhelming sense that your entire life should be wrapped up into His.
Sunday: Find time to eat some bread and drink some wine in remembrance of His life. Thank Him for His sacrifice and for His life. Read Romans 5.10 before you eat and drink.
Seek the kingdom, Carry the Cross, Feast on Jesus,