53Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.NIV
Have you ever stopped to think about what you're actually doing when partaking of the Lord's Supper?
Think about it:
If the cracker represents the broken body of Jesus and
the juice represents the blood of Jesus,
Then what does our putting them in our mouths, grinding with our teeth, and swallowing them down represent?
Does not our physically eating the crackers represent our eating Jesus' broken, body?
Does not our physically drinking the juice represent our drinking Jesus' shed, blood?
What do we normally call it when humans eat another human's body and drink his blood?
Why would God institute a make-believe cannibal ritual as one of the holiest sacraments at His Temple, the Church?
By eating Jesus' flesh and then drinking Jesus' blood, (figuratively), are we not openly acknowledging before God, all of Heaven and Mankind, and to ourselves that we are, in ourselves, each one of us, no different than damned, man-eating savages; the only good thing in us comes from the very Person we killed and ate?
One of the themes of life and the Scriptures is that one must admit his need in order to have it met
"Ask, and you shall receive," Matt 7:7. "You have not because you ask not," James 4:2 "asking" = "admiting your need"
We admit our sin in order to be forgiven (1 John 1:9).
We admit our sickness in order to be healed (James 5:14 "Call for the elders" = "Elders, I'm sick!").
We judge ourselves in order to escape judgement by the Lord (1 Cor 11:31).
We admit we are damned in order to be saved (Acts 2:38 "Repent, be baptised and you shall be saved!" = "Admit your sinful filth, receive a bath and you shall be saved from damnation!")
By eating Jesus' flesh and then drinking Jesus' blood, (figuratively), at the Supper of the Lord, we are admitting our total depravity before God, angels, men and oneanother. Our actions speak louder than our words acknowledging, "In ourselves, we are no better than lawless, senseless, damned, man-eating savages, none different than Jeffrey Daumer: cannibals so dense as to not even realise the full meaning of what we're doing right now - nonetheless, we do it because Jesus, the One we killed and eat, said so." (Matt 26:26-28)
How does God respond to this figurative sacrifice, this sacrifice of a "broken and contrite heart?" (Psalm 51:17)
God responds with the gift of absolute righteousness! (Rom 5:17)
"You are the righteousness of God in Christ! (2 Cor 5:21)
As far as the East is from the West, so far have I removed your transgressions from you and cast them into the Sea of Forgetfulness! (Ps 103:12, Micah 7:19)
Look at My beloved sons in whom I am well pleased!
Let them be clothed with robes of righteusness!" (Is 61:10)
And so, by the liturgy of The Lord's Supper, we share Christ, our Passover, we remember where we came from, just as our Old Testament ancestors remembered where they came from by way of the Festivals of Booths culminating in the Passover meal. We were without God, under His wrath, destined to destruction. We were cannibals, cannibalising the lives of others to fatten our own in a world of "dog-eat-dog." We were lawless, senseless, instinct-driven brutes given over to every reprobate, selfish passion.
We were damned, man-eating savages
and have become saved, self-sacrificing, saints
- all by the forgiveness & holy power of the very Person we killed and ate.
The Apostle Paul taught this principle more concisely,
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."
Who could be a worse sinner than a man-eating savage, a cannibal?
"Okay," you may ask, "why all the cannibalism talk, though?"
The Bible seems to acknowledge that we live in a "dog-eat-dog" situation in the world. Have you ever taken notice of the way Scripture likens sinful behavior to cannibalism? All "sin" is a form of cannibalising someone else's life in order to fatten your own. Is it not still possible today for people to emulate these behaviors?
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
no one will spare his brother.
20 On the right they will devour,
but still be hungry;
on the left they will eat,
but not be satisfied.
Each will feed on the flesh of his own offspring:
21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh;
together they will turn against Judah.
The fool has said in his heart,
"There is no God."
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
3 They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.
4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread, ...?
Should you not know justice,
2 you who hate good and love evil;
who tear the skin from my people
and the flesh from their bones;
3 who eat my people's flesh,
strip off their skin
and break their bones in pieces;
who chop them up like meat for the pan,
like flesh for the pot?"
I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints andwith the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the peoples who do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
they have devoured him completely
and destroyed his homeland.
9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives.'
10 With their own hands compassionate women
have cooked their own children,
who became their food
when my people were destroyed.
Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain.
Her officials are roaring lions,
her rulers are evening wolves,
who leave nothing for the morning.
10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover.
For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.