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40 Days of Hope
Friday, March 15
Jesus kept preaching in Capernaum. After His bold claim to be the one who offers eternal life to His followers, He went on to declare that people had to “eat his flesh” and “drink his blood” if they wanted to have life.
Obviously, Jesus was not advocating some form of cannibalism. He was offering His hearers a prophetic word about the culmination of His ministry. He was not just the Bread from Heaven. He was also the Lamb of God! He was going to sacrifice His flesh and shed His blood for all humanity.
Jesus is offering life to all who will accept His sacrifice and live in an intimate spiritual relationship with Him. The imagery of eating and drinking are very graphic. But they point to the very intimate nature of embracing Jesus as Savior. At our deepest being, we have to accept Him for who He is. We ingest this truth just like we ingest food.
Jesus is not just bread --- He is sacrifice. His ministry will lead to His death in Jerusalem. He will surrender His flesh. He will spill his blood. The Easter Story is incomplete without the death of Jesus.
This message confused the congregation in Capernaum. They were stunned. What could this mean? Even if they grasped the meaning, the idea of a suffering Messiah was unexpected for them. They were longing for a triumphant Messiah. Remember? They had already tried to crown Him king earlier in this very chapter.
As we continue our Easter journey together, let’s keep in mind that this is a serious and somber pilgrimage. Praise God the story will not end with a funeral. But the story includes a funeral. Jesus died a real death on our behalf. This is a tangible reminder of our sinfulness and the cost of our salvation.
Today, reflect on the death of Jesus on your behalf.