I hope this finds you in joyful celebration of the One Who loves you and gave all that you may have all.
I’ll be frank, it’s been a difficult couple of weeks, but I’m so grateful that I know how it all ends! (I read the last chapter of the Book! )
This week we are called to personally share in Jesus’ life and death. To accept His blood shed for the atonement of our sin receive eternal life and to take on His likeness in such complete manner that we are a new creation. It’s more than just knowing what He did, but trusting Him completely and personally. Also we must digest His Word regularly, taking it in, believing and going forth upon the promises and the commands.
From 6:50-59, what spiritual promises do you see connected to “drinking” and “eating” on Jesus?
This lesson contains some of my favorite passages in the Gospels and it was instrumental when I went through my paralyzing accident.
Eating and drinking is all about eternal life. I love it - Jesus says unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no part in me! It’s all or none. You either eat or drink something otherwise the food and drink sit there. Once eaten and drunk, the elements are inside us and greatly impacts who we are.
Probably my favorite passage is near the end of the lesson. After Jesus makes a very astounding statement, many of His disciples leave. That was it. They had had enough! Now Jesus turns to the 12 and asks, are you going to leave me too? I so value Jesus’ heart. It was what Jesus said to me after I was paralyzed - will you leave me now? And like Peter, I was so grateful that I knew that He was the Truth so I could also say that I had nowhere else to go. He is it. No matter what live serves us - Jesus is all - our All! I never have to look over my shoulder and wonder if I am going the right way. Nothing is worse than heading down the road questioning if you are on the right road. I can confidently head straight head!
There is so much in this lesson that I am going to quit there. More later…
That’s beautiful, Tim, how the Lord met you in you through the accident. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your experience and testimony. You’re right there is a lot going on here. And the words “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” is the greatest realization we can ever have! It just puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it?
And like you said,
It’s all or none.
There is no lukewarm with Jesus!
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16
I think one of the (many) things about Jesus that is beautiful is His humanity. You know He understands the struggles, the sickness, betrayal, grief, loneliness, slander, on and on.
And I agree with you about His heart… The beauty of the question, "You do not want to leave too, do you?” is both an expression of His tender humanity while reminding me that at the core of our relationship is choosing Him in love and agreement. He doesn’t force Himself on anyone because love dwells and flourishes in freedom.
April and Tim,
Your comments about Peter’s reply brought to mind this one from C.S. Lewis, which has stayed with me for years now: To walk out of God’s will is to step into nowhere.
Christians believe this and yet there is such a gap between what we want to do, and know we should do, and what courage we are able to summon to do it. I have always felt deep compassion for Peter, who would become the Rock upon which Christ’s church would be built, yet who, when confronted by soldiers, cowered and denied Him three times before the rooster’s crow.
I often think about what we will do for Christ, when the situation gets really desperate. Most of us have not been tested. In our minds, we believe we will be strong; but of course, only God can give us that strength. In ourselves, we do not have it. And we don’t know what we will be called to do, and how we will rise or fail to rise to the occasion, until it happens.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as I know people are terrified of this virus; and yet, while of course it’s scary, there are bigger things at stake. Where will our courage, or lack of courage, lead us? What atrocities might we commit due to cowardice and lack of faith? I hope and pray that our faith will lead us to do what is right, what is kind, what is just, rather than what is craven and wicked.
The body and blood of Christ as symbolic “picture language” is a good way to describe that, April. To be honest, I’ve always found it gruesome to think of it any other way given that we are told to “eat and drink” of it. I flinch whenever I think of the Catholic belief in transmogrification. But maybe there’s a lesson in there. Who would not flinch when confronted with Christ crucified, in person? It’s hard enough to look at in artistic depictions, let alone in reality. We flinch and yet we cannot look away because, if we want to know who God really is, we learn that in the deepest sense at the foot of the cross.
Tina, you read my mind. What would do if we were dropped down into one of the countries where they are persecuted for their faith? Would I be faithful? Tina, I actually am concerned that I wouldn’t be faithful. My goal to everything in life is to hear Jesus tell me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
You always say things with such elegance and truth! I agree, I’ve often thought of Peter’s dilemma around the fire as he’s asked about his friend. Even though he follows Jesus through arrest and prosecution, one minute he’s chopping off the ear of the servant of the high priest to defend Jesus (Luke 22) and the next he doesn’t know Jesus. He is all “humanness” in one night! I look forward to meeting him at the feet of Christ.
And it’s true this pandemic is bringing out the real in everyone. The amazing sermon I heard on Sunday mentioned the Christian nurses and doctors the pastor knew who were volunteering for service in the hospitals because “I know where I’m going”. I think of the monks who cared for people during the black plague, often dying of it themselves. But they considered it worth the risk to reach one who doesn’t know the Lord as they lay in need. God never wastes suffering or faithfulness. While that may not be a comfort while we endure a trial, it’s a comfort and a hope to me to know that He has something in mind that’s way over my imagination or need…and there may be a wait. But the results are eternal.
I’m playing catch up! I’ve never connected the previous words of Christ saying He is the bread of life…then teaches that one must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Loved the Eat My flesh = come to Me and Drink My blood = believe in Me.