The Flesh and Blood of Christ

John 6:53
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

This was a hard saying back in the day when Jesus spoke it. You can imagine the hearers that were processing this through their natural minds. “What is He saying, that we have to cannibalize Him and drink His blood?” This would be an abomination to the natural mind of the Jewish person, especially in the light of the teaching of the law about the blood. Leviticus 17:10-14 taught, “And whatsoever man [there be] of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.
And whatsoever man [there be] of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.
For [it is] the life of all flesh; the blood of it [is] for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh [is] the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.” From this passage you can see why the many struggled with what Jesus was speaking to them and why many turned away. So why would Jesus say something so controversial and seemingly contradictory to the law? We can easily see where the blood of Jesus was the all time atonement for our sins, but why would He say we should drink His blood when it was an abomination to God to drink the blood of animals? Have you ever heard the saying, ” you are what you eat?” This has a lot of application here. The blood represented the life and nature of a creature. I believe in God’s eyes, for man to drink the blood of animals was for him to, in essence, partake of that lower beast nature. There was identification and imparting of the nature or the soul that was ingested with its blood. The blood of the animals was to be poured out and covered with dust, which was the perishable, and corruptible substance from which it came.
Jesus was the beginning of the New Covenant, not one established upon the corruptible and temporal sacrifices and atonement of the blood of goats and calves. He established the New Testament upon the perfect incorruptible and eternal sacrifice and atonement of His blood and life given once for all, for all of mankind. Jesus was communicating the spiritual truth that in order to have the incorruptible nature and life of God we had to partake of it through the body and blood of Jesus. As He said in John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Obviously, it wasn’t the physical ingesting of the body and blood of Jesus that He was referring to in this passage, but the partaking of His life through faith in His word. We do this symbolically through the communion. These are small physical reminders of the great truth that without a true participation in our communion and partaking of His Spirit life we are none of His. Perhaps we begin to comprehend as never before what our Lord accomplished and gave to us through His Passion. Let us meditate, seek to comprehend and appropriate all that He provided for us through the breaking of His body and the giving of His blood. As we partake of Him through faith we are partakers of His incorruptible, everlasting soul, His nature and His life. So let us eat of His flesh and drink of His blood for it is eternal life for all who partaker. He is forever the Bread of Life.

Blessings,
kent

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Provoking to Good Works

January 29, 2013

Provoking to Good Works

Hebrews 10:23-24
Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised; And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Our faith in Christ is such a precious thing. It is what opens salvation’s door to the riches and treasures of abundant and eternal life. Faith is not a one-time exercise, but it is the exercising of our faith that grows us to walk into all that God has promised us. By faith are we are justified and by faith we please God. Our faith is much more precious than gold, not only to us, but to God as well. He wants that faith nurtured and grown in the same way we would raise a child through the various stages of life. As a parent we would protect them and seek to insure their right and safe development.
God is jealous over us. He fervently loves us, but he knows our frame. We often get on our exercise programs and we are all psyched up about losing weight and getting stronger. A short time goes by and we fizzle out and go back to our old habits. We can treat our faith and commitment to God the same way. Life may bring its trials and tragedies or even persecutions against us until one day we find ourselves weary and laying down the good fight of our confession. Perhaps this fits many of us; we are so caught up in life, making a living, the demands of a career, raising a family and the cares of life that God slips quietly into the background of our lives. If this is where we are at then we are out of the will of God and what He wants for us. I know this because I have found myself in these places and must guard carefully not to return there. God is sounding a trumpet in our hearts and in our land. It is a call to action. He is calling us out of those places where our faith has fainted and grown weak. We can turn a deaf ear and continue on our way or we can listen to what the Spirit is speaking in our heart and know that God is serious about us and where we are in our walk with Him. Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Hebrews 12:3 “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. ”
Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. ”
Our God wants to provoke our faith to action and good works. We have to awake out of our complacency and realize our faith is not just another compartment of our lives, it is our life. It is what we are about and what we need to be living for. Everything in us should centered around our faith.
The Lord brought something to mind that I hadn’t thought about before. Growing up and even now, at times, I am a provoker. Without even realizing what I am doing I can begin pushing someone’s buttons and get them upset. Now that is not an admirable quality and one that has caused others and myself a lot of grief over the years. But if it can be used in a negative sense why can’t it be used in a positive sense. This scripture in Hebrews 10 is telling us that God wants us to be provokers. Perhaps that is why the Lord has had me start writing these little words each day to first provoke my own faith and then in turn to provoke the faith of others who may read these. This is a calling we all have, not just to stir up our own faith, but to stir up one another. Even as Paul was provoking and stirring up Timothy in 1Timothy 1:7-9, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.”
It is a time we must get stoked, provoked and begin to stir up our faith and not ours only, but the faith of one another to love and good works. It is not a hype, it is a life.

Blessings,
kent

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