“Whoever feeds on 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. Whoever feeds on 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 whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.” (John 6:54-59)
In today’s text, Jesus makes several points as He brings to a conclusion His discourse on being the bread of life. The specific truths are (1) whoever feeds or comes to faith in Christ has eternal life; (2) whoever feeds or comes to faith in Christ abides or remains in a covenant relationship with Christ; (3) whoever feeds or comes to faith in Christ will live again or be resurrected from physical death; (4) whoever feeds or comes to faith in Christ will live forever and never again experience death.
Dr. John MacArthur states, “Jesus’ point was an analogy that has spiritual, rather than literal, significance: just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life, so also is belief in his sacrificial death on the cross necessary for eternal life. The eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood metaphorically symbolize the need for accepting Jesus’ cross work. For the Jews, however, a crucified Messiah was unthinkable (cf. Acts 17:1–3). Once again, the Jews, in their willful and judicial blindness, could not see the real spiritual significance and truth behind Jesus’ statements.”
It should again be noted that Jesus was not referring to the Lord’s Supper or Communion by using this analogy, or parallelism, to eating and drinking. Dr. MacArthur continues by explaining that, “Jesus’ reference here to eating and drinking was not referring to the ordinance of communion for two significant reasons: 1) communion had not been instituted yet, and 2) if Jesus was referring to communion, then the passage would teach that anyone partaking of communion would receive eternal life.” The Scriptures teach that eternal life is accessible only by faith and faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Just as a good meal of food and drink sustain our physical life, so Jesus, the real (reliable) spiritual food and drink, sustains spiritual and eternal life. His flesh and blood sacrifice on the cross, and belief in the same, gives eternal life to those who receive Him by grace alone, through faith alone.
Have you received Jesus as your life sustaining food? Remember, not only is He the bread of life but also the living water (John 4). Receive Him today (John 1:12-13).
Soli deo Gloria!