Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 3, 2019

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.”

Today’s devotion comes from John 6:46-58.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+6&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down out of heaven;  if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;  and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.  This is the bread which came down out of heaven;  not as the fathers ate and died;  he who eats this bread will live forever.”  John 6:48-58.

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How can we eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood?

The short answer is by faith which is the work of God.

But, consider the more lengthy answer from the Heidelberg Catechism.  I intentionally quote Article and Question 76 before Answer and Question 75 for purposes of this devotion in order to more directly and better answer the question posed above.

Q. 76.  What is it then to eat the crucified body and drink the shed blood of Christ?

A.  It is not only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin and life eternal;  but also, besides that, to become more and more united to His sacred body by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us;  so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone;  and that we live and are governed forever by one Spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.

 Q. 75.  How art thou admonished and assured in the Lord’s Supper that thou art a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all His benefits?

A.  Thus:  That Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and to drink of this cup in remembrance of Him, adding these promises:  first, that His body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and His blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup communicated to me;  and further, that He feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with His crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.

Consider also the following partial quote from Article 35 of the Belgic Confession.

Article 35:  Of the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ.

…  But for the support of the spiritual and heavenly life, which believers have, he hath sent a living bread, which descended from heaven, namely, Jesus Christ, who nourishes and strengthens the spiritual life of believers, when they eat him, that is to say, when they apply and receive him by faith in the spirit.  Christ, that he might represent unto us this spiritual and heavenly bread, hath instituted an earthly and visible bread, as a sacrament of his body, and wine as a sacrament of his blood, to testify by them unto us, that, as certainly as we receive and hold this sacrament in our hands, and eat and drink the same with our mouths, by which our life is afterwards nourished, we also do as certainly receive by faith (which is the hand and mouth of our soul) the true body and blood of Christ our only Savior in our souls, for the support of our spiritual life.  …

Going back to the short answer above, let us consider the work of God from previous Scriptures in John chapter 6.

“Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:29.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;  and I will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:44.

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:37-39.


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