Jesus: The Bread and Blood of life
good morning. And this week we’re gonna have to jump just right into the sermon. But before we do, I’m going to going to say that I’m gonna try something this morning. Um it is one of the most essential passages in in in the scriptures to understand the identity of the mission of christ which provides our new identity and our ongoing mission. And as I was studying it this week, I thought that I would look at the versus backwards, look at the conclusion that Jesus comes to and then how he got there. And I hope it works. If it flops, we’ll fix it next week. Right? But this morning we are going to look at jesus when he says, you must eat my flesh and drink my blood. And whoever does abides in me and I in him, one of the most important statements in all of the new testament. Now remember where we’re at. We are looking now at jesus exodus as opposed to moses is. And last week we saw that jesus is a far greater moses. And so we come today and we’re gonna pick up with verse number 35 and then look down through 56 and then we’re gonna go backwards uh to verse 21. But let’s begin with verse number 35. And jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst, He has just Fed the 5000. They have longed for him to be a king, to kill their enemies, to destroy them, to tear them apart. And now jesus is telling his mission. He says, I am the bread of life. I didn’t come to be the king. I came to be the one who is torn apart for you. That that you might live and not only live, but but but live with with with my nature, with with my blessing, with my connection to the father. You’ll never hunger, you’ll never thirst in the kingdom that I am creating. You remember, he fed the 5000, they wanted to make him king. He goes up on the mountain and and and he and his disciples uh across the sea and jesus gets them to their destination. But now the people have come around the sea of Tiberius and they’ve come to jesus again and they’ve they’ve come for more food. They’ve come for the kingly actions that they expect. And Jesus, jesus says, listen, I’m the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall not hunger. And he who believes in me shall never thirst. Let me tell you what kind of king I am. Let me tell you what kind of kingdom of building. Let me tell you what your true need is, what my true mission is and what my nature is. And if you see it, it is wonderful. It is life, it is powered, it is blessing. It’s joy overflowing unspeakable and full of glory. But I said to you that you have not seen me. And yet do not believe all that the father gives to me will come to me and whoever comes to me, I will not cast out perfect safety in me, for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me that I should lose nothing that he has given me. But raising up the last day, for this is the will of the father that everyone who looks upon the sun and believes in him should have eternal life. And I will raise him up the last. What we need to see here, which which john is going to build on later. Is folks. We are the greatest gift to express the love of the son to the father. The father is seeking worshipers to worship him in spirit and truth. And and and and the father wants to show the son how much he loves him. So he gives him a people. And then the son wants to show the father how much he loves him. And so he gives those people right back. And we are that gift of the expression of love. From the father to the son and the son to the father. And in that expression of love, in that love, we are safe. I should lose nothing that he has given me. And God knows the failure that took place under moses. He knows the failure that that that took place throughout all of the old testament. So he has made it as simple as it can possibly be. Whoever looks upon the son and believes he shall have eternal life and be a part of that. That great exchange of the gift of love from son to father and father to son. And look at how the people acted just like they did under moses in the old testament. And they grumbled about him. They grumbled about him because he said, I am the bread that’s come down from heaven. You see, they want manna, They want something to fill their bellies. They’re only concerned about the physical and they’re grumbling. Then turns to insult. Is this not jesus? The son of joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he say I come down? And jesus answered them. Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him and I will rise him up the last day. Don’t grumble about this. The father is wooing you with love. The father is calling you with this great gift of his love for God, so loved the world that he sent me to be the bread that you have not eaten that was lost in Adam! The bread for the spirit, bread for eternal life. I am, that water that fully satisfies. Not the God of your belly, but the true God, that in whom we can worship and find security and peace and purpose and joy satisfaction and life and proper living in this world crumble about being loved by God. Don’t you understand? It is written in the prophets Verse 45 says they will be taught by God. Everyone who has learned and heard from the father comes to me and not anyone has seen the father, except he who uh he who is from God. He has seen the father truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life, I am the bread of life your father’s, they ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. God is providing you with a with a different kind of life. Listen for him and when you hear him believe him, you’re not gonna believe this on your own. It is beyond human understanding. The spirit of man is dead. But God is crying out to your hearts, listen to me, Cure me! Learn from me. You think you know what you need, but I have sent you exactly what you need. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven. So that one may eat of it and not die, jesus. They’re speaking of himself, I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give him for the life of the world is my flesh. You see, you want me to be a king to come and tear apart your enemies. I am the king who has come to be torn apart. That so that by my stripes, you are healed. You see, you don’t even see your own enemy. And not only can you not see the pleasure of being loved by God. You don’t see the true enemy. I will give my flesh too. And so the last time jesus spoke, they grumbled. And now in verse number 52, the Jews disputed among themselves saying, how can this man give his flesh for us to eat? And 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 whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. And I will raise him up the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Look at number 56, Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and in him, that is the highlight neon verse of john up to this point, whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him, that is our hope that that is our, that is our fulfillment. But it is also the break with moses and it is the break with the old testament. And and and and and with that break comes the institution of the new coven As the living father sent me verse 57 and I live because of the father. So whoever feeds on me will also live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread that your father’s eight and died, whoever feeds on this bread will live forever. Now, jesus said these things in the synagogue as he taught in Capernaum, iem Now Remember Verse four says, this is the time of passover and he’s saying, eat my flesh, drink my blood. What a break from Judaism. This would be if you were a first century jew, just think how you would have heard this. There were many prohibitions about what they could eat and what they could not eat. Bottom feeders. Catfish, shrimp, lobsters, obviously, pork, but there was one overall prohibition, they could not drink the blood, no medium rare lamb chops for them, and they could not drink the blood because life was in the blood. Now, God was not satisfied with the blood of bulls and goats, and he did not want the people to drink the blood of bulls and goats because life is in the blood, life is in the blood. Life is in the blood, he says over and over in the old testament, and he says, I didn’t want you to drink the blood of the bull or of a goat or of a lamb, because I didn’t create you to be like an animal. I wanted you to see what I’m talking about here. Don’t drink the blood of a bull or a goat or a lamb, because I created you to be like me, not like the rest of creation, but now christ has come, my son has come, my very image has come, I have come myself and I want my life and you, we are what we eat, life is in the blood. And he says, whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him, living in christ and christ, living in us. You see these verses that may sound a little bit innocuous, but but but in these verses, we see the extent of the intimate relationship that the new covenant and Grace provides an astounding intimacy is declared in these words, abides in me and I in him, I mean, that is that is that is an an an unfathomable intimacy that God is saying that he wants with us. And jesus says, I will give you to the father so that you can have it with the father. And the father says, I will give you to christ that you can have it with him. And then, and then in chapter 14, he’s gonna say, I’m gonna give you the spirit so that you can have it with the full of the God Where we become one flesh they said, we have not nearly, we have not merely come near into christ nor has he merely drawn close to us. Rather we live in him and he resides in us. That is staggering in its wonder, in its beauty, in its responsibility, in its protection, but also in its production through our lives. It’s an amazing. We live by being in christ by being related to him by being united with him by drawing our spiritual life from his moreover, he resides in us and desires to express his life through us. That we might fulfill our created mandate to be like him, made in the image of God and now living as an image of God in the world. Why didn’t God in the old testament? Why was one of the old testament? Commandments make no graven image. Make no image of me. First of all, because man would have got it wrong, No one would have ever picked a a broken, dying lamb as the image of God. But more than that he already had one prepared us and now he can come in and rather than being a dead idol, we are living representatives of God himself as we eat his flesh, We drink his blood, We become like him and all it takes is to believe that he loves us and then to love him in return. This unique arrangement for spiritual intimacy is experienced by the one who jesus says eats my flesh and drinks my blood. Although the language sounds strange to the natural ear picture is common of eating and drinking to find nourishment that we might continue and grow stronger. We get what he’s talking about here. The unusual aspect is that the source of nutrition is a person Verse # 35 of this discourse, He indicated what this process accomplished or encompassed. I am the bread of life. He who comes to me, shall never hunger. He who believes on me shall never thirst. Jesus is not talking about cannibalism here. We know that it’s that we deny ourselves and we give ourselves fully to him, that we we we we find our spirits made alive and and residing in him and finding our life flowing from his life and that it is his life that is expressed in ours, that we no longer wander in the darkness. We no longer are confused and befuddled about what to do. But we walk in light and find victory and the abundance that he’s going to talk about in chapter 10, eating and drinking of jesus flesh and blood involved simply coming to him by faith. Now, we’ve looked at these verses, let’s see what inspired them. Look at verse number 23 other boats then came from Tiberius from the place where they had eaten the bread and where the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that jesus was not there nor his disciples, they themselves got into boats and went to Capernaum. Iem seeking jesus, when they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, Rabbi, when did you come here? And he said, truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me not because you saw the signs, but because you ate your field of the lobes, you come to me because you want breakfast, you’re still concerned about your bodies. And I’m gonna tell you in 10 verses, I’m the bread of life right? But before that he says, do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life for which the son of man will give you. Foran him. God has set his seal. We are such silly creatures. When we are hungry, we think that food will answer all of our problems. It’s the same way with almost every practical difficulty we find ourselves in. And just as jesus tried to lift their understanding above the material and physical needs, we need to have our minds renewed transform to see the unseen as paul says to the Corinthians to to know the unknowable, to to think spiritually. And so they come to him now and what they wanted, he would not give them, but and what he offered, They would not receive. As we’ll see in verse 66, they depart from him. And Jesus has answered, he hoped, and he hoped to lift their eyes from the material bread and earthly kingdoms onto the spiritual realities that are eternal. They needed to put their confidence in jesus instead of immediate material bread and a king. This is the first of the distinctive I am statements that we know in this gospel where Jesus uses egg. Oh, Emma with a predicate, I am the bread of life. I am the only one he comes to me shall never hunger, Jesus says, whoever comes to him, that’s all we have to do, right. The one who receives me, The one who believes in me and finds their spiritual hunger satisfied in me, I am the one who satisfies. And they said to him, what must we do to do the works of God, Jesus answered, This is the work of God that you believe on him, who he is sin. You can’t do it. That’s the whole point of everything I’ve taught for 6.5 chapters for a year and a half. That’s that’s what I’ve taught. It’s what the whole old testament teaches. The failure of man’s capabilities, regardless of the resources, regardless of the circumstances. What must I do? You don’t do anything, I am a gift from God to you. You just have to receive me. This is the work of God, that you believe in him, who he is sin. And so they said to him, What sign do you do that we may see and believe in you. What work do you perform? They just rode across the sea of Tiberius because he had fed 5000 men and women and Children And now they’re trying to trick him into more mana. Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness, they say in verse number 31 and as it is written he gave them bread to eat and it was every day you remember it was every day and then on friday they got a double portion for saturday. What are you gonna do? Nudge nudge wink, wink and he said to them, I am the brain pray I don’t know how he said it. I wish we knew tone. Wish we knew volume. Wish we knew those things. He’s trying to get their eyes off the merely material and onto the greater and the more, the more bountiful and the more wonderful spiritual. And they’re trying to do everything that they can to trick him. And then as we saw later on they’re gonna grumble and then they’re gonna complain and then they’re gonna dispute with him and he’s trying to give them something incredibly wonderful. You see, faith in christ is simply believing in him. What work must we do believe? It’s, it’s coming to him, it’s not an acrobatic feat. That’s something that we have to perform. Some some indiana jones like task. It’s not even an exercise of profound mental faculties. It is just simply believing we are loved by God loved christ and desired by both coming is a very simple action indeed! It seems to have only two things about it. You come away from something and you go to something. You come away from an old way of thinking from an old man and you come to to a new way of thinking and a new kind of life. You come away from self control, uh self what you come, you come from self assurance to dependence upon God, from blindness to sight, from darkness to light, from death to life, from existence to purpose. But even in this we are inadequate. That’s why we looked at those verses 35 through 65, the father has to give us, the father has to draw us. The son has to raise us up and he’ll do all of that. You see, we we can’t even do the simple thing of leaving the old and coming to the new. But when our desire is to do that, God says, I’ll do it for you, I’ll draw you, I’ll call you, I’ll will you. And when your desire is for me, I will move you from one place to the other and jesus says, then I will raise you up in new life, that you might go toward the father. You are inadequate to do anything. What must you do to do the works of God just to believe, come to me and you can’t even do that. But the father will draw you, the sun will call you. The father will bring you and give you and the sun will raise you up glorious. How much he longs for us all that the father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me, I will have no means cast out. Jesus made it clear that coming to him begins with the work of the Father. Now the passover of the feast of the jews was at hand. And at that passover, jesus said, I’m the bread, I am what you are to eat and I am the blood not not painted on the door posts and the frame of the door taken into your life that you might have life in you, my life in you, whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. Chapter 14 verse number 20 says in that day, you will know that I am in the Father and you are in me and I am in you when that when that gift of love is fully and completely transferred. When we are one in that bond of love, you must stop thinking of me, Jesus is saying as an object for theological debate, you must take me into you and you must come to me and then you will have real life. And because I live, you will live also 14 18 and 19 of John Chapter 1418 and 19. You see the greatest difficulty of this passage is a promise of faith rather than something. They can see food that they that that that that they take in as opposed to a food that they can taste. It’s walking by faith and night by sake, looking to and desiring the spiritual rather than the immediate and the physical. The actual flesh and blood of the Son of God was given for me. He was the king, all right. But not to tear apart our enemies in the traditional way, but to see our enemies absolutely destroyed by his body being torn apart and distributed for us. And as we eat his flesh and drink his blood, it is to our advantage. His sacrifice assimilates us into his very life into his communion with the father, into his blessing from the father into his sight of the father and the father’s sight of him, and his virtue becomes mine, and his life becomes mine, and his hope becomes mine, and his piece becomes mine, and his joy becomes mine. He tells us all of these things. I am the brand in the blood, but it’s not cannibalism, and jesus is not a a a subject for theological debate. He says, the one who eats my flesh is the one who comes to me, the one who drinks my blood is the one who believes, and when you do that, I will take up residence in you, and you will find life in me, and I will give you as a gift of love to the father, and the father will give you as a gift of love to me. And we will hold you in that love forever and give your life meaning and purpose. No two no longer act like a bull or a goat or an animal. Act like what you were created to be and what you were re created to be an image of God in the world. This is what he offers us this day. His love, his life, his purpose, his marriage, his virtue forever and always will you receive Father? I thank you.