“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” – Jesus (John 6:53-58 NASB)
Most people stopped following Jesus after he said this. They checked out. This was a hard saying and I can imagine how most deemed and branded Jesus as a heretic. But what of the weight of his testimony? His sinless life? All the miracles God gave him to perform? His gentle loving spirit?
How did people just walk away? How do they still continue to do so?
So what is Jesus getting at when he says “Eat my flesh and drink my blood”?
Good question. Ask him about it!
I recently had an interesting dream that may lend some insight to this… but prolly not =):
I found myself walking down a street and unexpectantly encountered a group of men carrying someone who had died on a stretcher and covered with a sheet. They seemed to be a tribal people and it was their tradition to laugh as they carried the body. I passed them by and walked on and came upon the home that apparently they were bringing the body to. Once those gathered there began to hear the pallbearers laughing as they approached, they too laughed. ‘Did this have something to do with warding off evil spirits?’ I wondered. I stayed to observe what would happen next.
The body was brought into the home and an older man turned to me and explained that they would now take the body to the kitchen where the body would be cut up and cooked and eaten by all who had gathered as a way to honor their life and absorb them into the life of the community. It was a sign of love and respect for their life and their contribution to this group of perhaps a hundred or so people.
“If we didn’t love you, we wouldn’t eat you.”
I walked on from there and found myself at a home that I believe belonged to Paul Young. I was invited in and asked to speak by Paul to a gathering of about twenty or so people. As I started to share what Paul’s writings had meant to me, I started to weep. I talked about how Paul’s book The Shack rescued me from a toxic and damaged perspective of God. “Our paradigms matter!” I told them. “They way we see God is everything!”
I went on to talk about how healing his book Eve was to my soul. I cried some more.
Later I walked over and talked with Paul Young personally and, because I was a bit shy and awkward, I gave him one of those sideways hugs and patted his shoulder.
I wanted him to know how much I loved him and how grateful I was for his contribution to my faith. I wanted him to know how much the Lord had worked in and through him to bring healing to so many.
So ends the dream.
Later I reflected on why I felt so damaged and where my toxic view of God came from. What did I need healing from?
The only word that came to mind was:
It seems to me that any remaining problems in my life and inability to connect with others stems from my lingering misunderstanding of who God is and how we ought to relate… like, in a real relationship.
This dream also served to remind me of how dearly I love and respect our brother Wm Paul Young. I have been reading his latest book, Lies We Believe About God, and enjoying it. I had to get it for myself to make sure he really wasn’t a heretic. LOL.
We need to honor the prophet’s among us like Wm Paul Young. Anyone who has done their proper research will realize that he is a man of God and loves God and has a high regard for the authority of Scriptures. He is spot on about most everything but as I like to say:
“We all have holes in our theology. Two in his hands, two in his feet, and one in the side.”
Well, I just researched if there exists the tradition of eating the deceased as a way to honor them and found this:
Did you know that Wm Paul Young grew up for the first years of his life in Papua New Guinea? He was a missionary kid among the Dani tribe. I just so happen to stumble upon another death ritual that was practiced by the Dani in the very same article! Here tis:
So what about that “confusing” passage that Jesus started out with? Let’s look at more of the context:
Well, if you are having trouble understanding this like I do, take it to the Holy Spirit! Ask Jesus about it! Ask him to give you greater insight. Ask the Teacher to bring you revelation.
Right now I am listening to the approaching storm, the crackle of thunder, and the birds chirping out the window on this beautiful morning as I write this. what a beautiful day to be alive in Christ!