John 6:51-55
John 6:51 (KJB)
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Here Jesus states it plainly that He is the living bread which came down from Heaven. The word “living” is in the present tense which means that it is always alive. When Jesus says that a man must eat of the bread, He was speaking symbolically because in the next phrase He is stating that the bread is His flesh. Now what is not in view here is cannibalism and that should be obvious. It is also obvious that we cannot eat His flesh physically because if that was in view, then what about all those who became saved after He went back to Heaven. They would not have access to His physical body. So in this verse and the ones to follow, the idea of an actual eating of flesh is totally ruled out. What Jesus is stating here is that the believer is so intimately involved in Jesus, it is like being part of His physical body.
(Eph 5:30 KJV) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:30 is teaching us that those who are in Christ are members of His body. This we understand, but of his flesh and bones? When the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He came out of the grave bodily, not a spirit. Some teach that Christ only rose in Spirit. If that is the case, then His grave would be with us today, and believe me the enemies of Christ would have definitely handed down the location of His grave to every generation, but they can’t, because where ever it was, it is now empty.
When Eve was formed from Adam’s rib, the Scripture teaches: (Gen 2:23 KJV) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. God took Eve from the rib of Adam and when the church was formed, the side of the Lord Jesus was punctured by the soldier with the spear and out came water and blood. The church was formed the same way Eve was. We are one flesh with Christ as we are married to him, just as Eve was one flesh with Adam when they were married. It is the principle that we have seen in this chapter. There is such an intimacy between Christ and the church, that it is symbolized as us being a member of his physical body. When the Lord Jesus Christ was speaking of eating His flesh and drinking His blood? This was also symbolic of being such an intimate part of the Lord Jesus. The church as the wife of Christ, are enjoined as one, which is symbolized by the marriage relationship.
In the last part of John 6:51, Jesus states He gave His flesh for the life of the world. This is not speaking of universal atonement but He is stating that He is giving His body in sacrifice for all the Elect in the world at that time plus all that were named to be saved in the future.
John 6:52 (KJB)
The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
Strove - Argue, quarrel, fight, or dispute
Since the Jews were in the flesh and not looking at things from a spiritual perspective, they naturally concluded that Jesus was speaking about His literal flesh. They would have been familiar with flesh eating because there was an instance in their past where the famine in Samaria was so bad that they actually ate their children. (2 Ki 6:28-29 KJV) And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. {29} So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. So maybe this is why they were fighting amongst themselves in fear of seeing an incident like that in their lifetime.
John 6:53 (KJB)
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Now Jesus is really confounding them because not only is He speaking about them eating His flesh, he now adds another dimension to the conversation that they must also drink His blood. When we look at this passage, Jesus is really giving a spiritual lesson, which of course, the Jews will not follow because of the spiritual dearth among them. Jesus is stating two major tenets of the Christian faith. First, the flesh, is reiterating the truth which He has already told us that He is the bread which came down from Heaven, that is, He is the Messiah and His flesh represents the fact that a person must believe His incarnation, if they believe that, then they believe on Christ for salvation. Secondly, the ingested blood is symbolic for the cleansing of the soul which is inside the believer. The blood was also a prophecy of Christ going to the cross and shedding the blood on behalf of those He came to save. So the flesh speaks of the incarnation of Christ and the blood speaks of the sacrifice of Christ. (1 John 4:2-3 KJV) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: {3} And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. So when John penned his epistles at a later date, believing the incarnation of Christ was a sign as to whether a person was saved or unsaved. As it says in John 6:53 above, if the blood is not drunk nor the flesh eaten, there will be no everlasting life in that person.
John 6:54 (KJB)
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
So Jesus sums it up that if a person believes that He is the Messiah who came down from Heaven and that He will give His life a ransom for many by the shedding of His blood, then that person has shown they are saved and will have eternal life. This verse is the fourth declaration that the rapture of the Saints will be on the last day of recorded history. Now there is one false teaching which has led to the murder of millions of Christians. It is the belief of transubstantiation which has been perpetuated by the Roman Catholic Institution. It is the belief that the wine and wafer are transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ, and those who eat the wafer are eating the body of Christ. However, they do not give the wine because the people will then see that the wine remained wine even after the priest claims it has turned. True Christians have rejected this false teaching and that had led to the torture and murder of countless Christians by this heinous institution. The words “eateth” and “drinketh” are both in the present tense which means a perpetual drinking and eating. This means that those who have become saved, are truly believing in Christ. The word “hath” is also in the present tense which means eternal life never ends because it is always in the present. It is speaking about becoming saved and secure in Christ.
John 6:55 (KJB)
For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Is - Present tense
Indeed - Truly, really, or certainly
Meat - Spiritual food
From the symbolic and spiritual definitions we have looked at, Jesus is now stating that His spiritual food and blood are the staple life givers to the soul of man for everlasting life. His flesh and blood are the true givers of eternal life and not religion or good works. The fact that the word “is” is in the present tense would show a continual communion with Jesus. This confirms the fact that once a person has become truly saved, they will never be cast out as Jesus stated in 6:37. (1 John 1:7 KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. We read in 1 John 1:7, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, not just some. Since Christ has made the believer’s soul so clean by removing every vestige of sin, it is why our fellowship with Jesus is perpetual. Jesus wants to refocus these Jews on the fact that salvation comes from the spiritual aspect of what He is speaking about and not about physical works from the Mosaic law.