When Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life (See, “Free Food, Free Drink”), He took it a step further. He said you have to eat Him!
Jesus 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. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:53-54)
Yuck! Sounds disgusting, Did Jesus really suggest He would be the main course at the cannibal feast? We can figure out what He really meant by comparing what Jesus said just a bit before those shocking words. This quote is almost the same as the second sentence above, except for the words, “looks to and believe.”
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
See that? “Eat my flesh…” replaces “looks to and believes…” Therefore, we know that Jesus used “eat my flesh” as a vivid metaphor for believing.
When you think about it, so do we. We say “I swallowed what he told me,” to mean that we believed what he said. When you swallow something you come to a personal moment of decision and surrender. It is an act of faith. You believe it will be better if you move something from outside you to inside, where it will become absorbed into your life. That’s what Jesus meant:
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood (i.e. whoever believes and takes Me in) remains (makes his home) in me, and I (make My home) in him.” (John 6:56 – with my added explanations.
The word “remains” is a Greek word for living permanently, making ones home in, or abiding.) When Jesus makes His home in you, His life comes to life within you. Because His life is eternal, you have (present tense) eternal life. His, eternal life, living in you by means of the Holy Spirit, is the consequence of your personal, voluntary, decision of faith to “swallow” Jesus!
Chew on that!