The Bread of Life.
The area I thought we could study is that of Jesus’ ‘I AM’
statement that He is the bread of Life, found in John, chapter 6.
The verses of interest are from 51 to 58. John chapter 6, verses 51-58.
John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (Followed by)
John 6:53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Reading these verse I was struck about how positive the promises are in the New Testament. Whoever eats this bread will live forever! There is no maybe; no possibly; it’s ‘will live forever’! And, Jesus is the bread!
We go through many trials but God gives us this assurance for the future when we share in the life of His son. Jesus is the living bread which came from heaven and when we eat his flesh we move from death to life. Life - forever.
We see in this short passage a point worth noting. Jesus did not come down from heaven to make bad people good; he came to make dead people live!
It’s therefore a great comfort to know that loved ones who accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour and who partook of the emblems of bread and wine have a future prepared for them by Jesus in heaven. A forever future!
But what do we understand by ‘eat His flesh’?
One way to look at it is that Jesus is the Word of God (takes out bible) and ‘that’ is the body of Christ that is with us today, physically. In part communion reminds us of that.
So when we take the bread and wine we remember Jesus. We remember His body broken for our healing and His blood shed for our sins and we also think of how our life is based on eating up the Word and drinking in His thoughts as enclosed in the bible. We use exegesis to draw out the meanings and not eisegesis to make it say what we want!
When we think in these terms other thoughts line up with them.
We live because of belief in Jesus. We have put faith in Him. But, how do we get this faith? Faith comes from hearing and hearing, by the word of God, as it says in Romans, Chapter 10, verse 17.
In other words faith comes by consuming the food in the bible, the bread of life!
The next thing that Jesus says in the passage is…
In the earlier verses Jesus promises that we will live forever, but here he states that we have eternal life now, if we are partakers in His flesh and His blood!
I trust that you see the progression. As Christians living under grace we have eternal life now. It’s not something we have to hope for in the way that the world hopes. We have a surety that living forever started when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and started living by the word.
As I mentioned we do not hope like the world hopes. Our future is not dependent on our performance in doing good! We cannot do good enough to gain eternal life anyway. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, as it says in Romans 3:23-25.
Rom 3:23 Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.
Through Jesus’ body and blood we have assurance for ourselves and our loved ones who accepted Jesus as Lord and proceeded to live in Him.
We can make mistakes but in 1 Cor 1:9 we learn that, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” .
That fellowship is one that once started will continue into eternity. Jesus promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. He promised that Holy Spirit would be with us forever, and that God our Father would be in Him, and He in us!
As one Christian once said, “If I can go to hell, they have to come live with me!
God’s plan is that having translated us from the kingdom of darkness and placed us in the kingdom of His dear Son, we can be sure that, he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
We can see this stated in another way in verse 54 which we read earlier. Jesus says :- John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
Jesus promises that He WILL raise up those who commit to Him at the last day. All whom God gave to Him He will bring into the kingdom. None will be lost.
Now let’s move on and see what else we can learn.
The information that we are given is further extended to tell us that we will live forever because of Jesus. It not because of our righteousness or our goodness. It’s not because the good we do is greater than the bad we do! Actually in the book of James we learn that :- Whoever keeps the whole Law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:10)
So if we are keeping score then our mark is ZERO! And the pass mark is 100.
But fortunately God does not decide where we spend eternity based on our efforts to be good. We live forever because of putting faith in Jesus. We will live because of Him. When we commit to Him, He commits to us!
Now we are enabled to do almost unconsciously, what we could not do before deliberately – because GRACE teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
That is why the scriptures tell us that GOODNESS is a FRUIT of the Spirit and our relationship with Jesus. It is not a ROOT which we provide to lead to a relationship with Jesus!
It all STARTS with Jesus; which brings us back to John, chapter 6, verse 54.
John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood HAS eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
And as we learn in John, chapter 10, verse 28-29…
John 10:28-29. No one can snatch them from Jesus’ hand, nor can they snatch them from the Father’s hands!
We are held in Jesus’ hands. And outside of those are the Father’s hands. We are doubly safe. Inside is Holy Spirit, in us, completing the work He started to bring us to the stature of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus returns their hands will be removed and all will see that on the inside Holy Spirit will have changed the Caterpillar that we are now into the Butterfly God sees in us and we will emerge to take our prepared place in the Kingdom of His dear Son.
Isn’t it great when a God plan comes together?