Do you ever get going in a busy day and forget to eat at the proper time? Maybe it’s 3 pm and suddenly you feel the bottom drop out. No energy, listless, irritable, maybe even a little depressed. It feels like life turns grey and impossible.
So . . . get something to eat!! That’s right – most problems in life can be dealt with if we’ve had sufficient food. The world is a brighter place when good food is in your system.
Angels don’t have this problem of finding food for strength. They have no bodies. Being pure spirit means you don’t have to stop your angelic praising to sit for a meal. (It also means they don’t have the sloppy pleasure of a cheeseburger and fries! Poor angels.)
God has made us humans in such a way that we must pause two or three times a day to take nourishment for our bodies. What a launching pad for God to visit us!
Jesus chose this critical human experience of taking food to be the way he would come to us down through history. In the context of the ancient Jewish Passover (the meal of roasted lamb, commemorating the night God freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt), Jesus saw himself to be the “New Lamb” whose body and blood would bring life to those who receive it.
He began to teach his disciples this insight about who he was and what he must do for those who believe in him. “I am the living bread come down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate (the manna in the desert), whoever eats this bread (my body) will live forever.” John 6:58
Like the lamb that was slain at Passover, this new meal would require the death of Jesus, “the Lamb of God”. So the night before his death, gathered with the apostles, “he took the bread, said the blessing”, and says, “This is my body” and over the cup, “this is . . . my blood poured out for you.”
So that’s it gang. A new food for humanity – – – Jesus’ body and blood. The first hearers of this message were totally grossed out. “How can he say he will give us his flesh to eat?'” And “because of this many followers turned back and would not go with him anymore.” Jn. 6:67.
So what about you? Can you see God’s plan to get inside us with His Son? Does the image of the innocent lamb speak to you? Aren’t you aware that it takes years of eating to build a body – – – so too a Christian. Does the change from bread to “my flesh” bother you? Don’t you think that if God could come up with the idea of your little daughter and give her your smile – – – he could change bread into anything he wants?
None of us knows “how” the bread becomes Jesus’ body (we say of course “by the Holy Spirit”, which is bible talk for “He will do it.”) He said so.
What we do know is God created each of us. (We didn’t). And we experience a restless hunger to live in a state of being that is truth, love and joy (eternal life). What we know is that no one has ever gone so deeply into the human condition . . . “like us in all things but sin”. He shows us what causes us to be far from God (sin and selfishness). And he lays his life down in such a way that he be- comes our food to bring us to God who won’t rest till we are all one in the Body of Christ.
Perhaps a little prayer here……….”Dear God and Father, help me trust your divine word which came to us in Christ Jesus. And trusting that he would not trick us, let me receive his body and blood in humble faith. Let this heavenly food transform me into a person worthy to be called Christian.
Summers almost here!!