If we would take the basics of the Christian faith seriously, then we must begin with what Jesus actually said.
Of Eating and Drinking Him

Jesus said, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you," (John 6:53).

By these words Jesus teaches that He is the sole source of grace and spiritual life. That life is eternal life in communion with God. As Jesus said, "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life," (John 6:54). By eating and drinking Christ we have communion with Him, and He imparts His life to us, just as bread nourishes the body. Just as the bread we eat becomes a part of us, so He dwells in us. Jesus therefore said, "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him," (John 6:56).

The nature of this eating and drinking Jesus also explains. It is not a physical eating and drinking. Grace and the life of Christ are not communicated to us by eating with the mouth. Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life," (John 6:63). It is not by eating with the mouth, but by the work of the spirit through the word, by faith, that Christ communicates His life unto us. It is not by a literal eating of His flesh but by partaking of the grace of His Spirit by faith that we eat Him. Therefore Jesus also said, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life," (John 3:36). Faith is spiritually the means to feed our souls, even as we feed our bodies by hand and mouth. It is thus we feed upon Christ so that He dwells in us and we in Him.

As He instituted the Lord's Supper in the presence of His disciples, Jesus said, "this is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me," (Luke 22:19), and, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you," (Luke 22:20). By these words Jesus set forth the elements of bread and wine as tokens of His body, given on the cross, and of His blood, shed for the remission of sins. When Jesus spoke these words He was sitting physically in the midst of His disciples. The disciples could not have understood Him to mean that the bread and wine were either physically changed into His literal flesh and blood, or that He was physically present in them. Grace cannot be eaten with the teeth. "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing," (John 6:63). Jesus' own testimony that the cup was "the new testament" of His blood indicates likewise, that what He was giving unto them was a seal upon the promise of the New testament or covenant which He established in His blood on the cross.

By His commandment, "This do in remembrance of me," (Luke 22:19) Jesus called His disciples and His church to keep a holy remembrance of His death by faith. By administering the Lord's Supper of bread and wine, His people are fed spiritually by faith with the spiritual blessings of His one sacrifice on the cross. He Himself is present in the Lord's Supper, not physically but spiritually, to feed His people by faith. Do you believe in this Christ of the Lord's Supper or in a fleshly superstition invented of men?

By Rev. Thomas Miersma, Missionary Pastor

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