Eat My Flesh
Pastor Rod Thompson
Midland SDA Church
September 23, 2017
God brought Israel out of Egyptian bondage with a strong arm and uplifted hand.† He had proven to them by the many miracles that He would provide for them and bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey, just as He had promised.† But when they got out into the desert they began to complain, they were thirsty and there was no water.† So God provided water for them.† Then there was no food, so they complained again and this time God provided once again
Exodus 16:4†††††† Then the Lord said to Moses, ďBehold I will rain bread from heaven for you.† And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota everyday
Exodus 16:31†††† And the house of Israel called its name manna.† And it was like white coriander seed, and taste like wafers made with honey.†
Imagine a crowd of over a million people living in the desert.† Whatís the desert like?† Well itís hot during the day, cold at night, there is no water and no food.† So how could a community this large survive for 40 years?† Thereís only one way to explain it, it had to have been by the power of God.† God would provide them spiritual drink and spiritual food.† He would cover them with a cloud by day and warm them and light their way by fire at night.†
But you canít see God.† So you can understand how the people might think that it was Moses who was working the miracles.†
Jesus had just fed the 5,000, that same night He walks on the sea and catches up with His disciples.† The following morning when the people who were among the 5,000 saw that the boats were missing they got into their boats and went chasing after Jesus.† They caught up with Him in John 6 and notice what Jesus said to them.
Read John 6:26-27
Jesus miracles all pointed to His divinity, but they also pointed to spiritual realities.† Jesus said donít labor for physical food, but rather labor for spiritual food.
Do you remember the story of Jesus and the woman at the well in John 4?† While Jesus was talking to her the disciples had gone into town to get some food.† When they came back the woman was running back to the city to tell everyone that she had seen the Messiah.† At this point the disciples tried to encourage Him to eat something, and what did He say to them.
John 4:32† I have food to eat of which you do not know.
At this point they think, someone must have given Him something to eat.† Then He plainly says to them
John 4:34† My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work
Essentially Jesus was saying that what was sustaining Him was doing Godís work.† Perhaps you have been in a situation where you were doing a bible study with someone, or you were out knocking on doors or handing out GLOW tracts and someone says wow itís 4,oclock.† Your like, really!† We havenít even eaten lunch yet.† And someone says yah! I was so wrapped up in what we were doing that Iím not even hungry.†† Why is that?† Because you received spiritual food which sustained you for the work of God.†
But notice here in John 6 that the people were looking for a sign from Jesus that He was the Messiah
Read John 6: 30-31
There was a tradition that when the Messiah would come, that He would make manna fall from heaven once again.† So they asked Jesus, are you going to give us a sign, are you going to make manna come down from heaven.† And notice what Jesus says
Read John 6:32-35
What was Jesus saying here?† He said I am the true manna from heaven, I am the bread that came down.† That bread in the desert that the people called manna, which was pointing to me.† I am the bread of life.
But notice verse 41
Read John 6:41-42
In other words, how can He say He came from heaven, we know who He is, we know His parents.† He didnít come from heaven He came from Nazareth.† How is it then that that He says, He came from heaven
But Jesus doesnít stop there.† He keeps pushing for them to understand.† To stop think in literal terms and start thinking spiritually
Read John 6: 48-51
Put yourselves in the place of the Jews.† I think itís so easy for us to look with the clarity of hind sight and say why didnít they get it?† Why didnít they understand?
Jesus said He was going to give His flesh Ė of course they didnít understand it but here He was talking about the cross, which is the basis for eternal life.† And He is going to use Lordís supper language to describe the benefit of His sacrifice.
Read John 6: 52-56† (Scripture reading)
Do you remember what Jesus said at that last supper?† ďThis is my body given for youÖ This is my blood of the new covenant take and drink of it all of you.Ē
Itís that time in our service when we break off and go to the foot washing part of our service.† It is time when we humble ourselves and wash each others feet.† Jesus had said to disciples after He washed their feet, He said I have set before you an example and you should do this for each other.† And more than anything else this will humble our hearts and prepare us for eating His flesh and drinking His blood.