The night Jesus was betrayed, we find him in the pages of the Bible trying to communicate something very deep to his disciples. He took the bread they were eating and the wine they were drinking and used them as teaching tools. He told them that when they eat the bread, they would be eating his body. He told them that when they drink the wine, they would be drinking his blood.
We know now that when we eat and drink what we consume is broken down within our bodies to the raw materials needed to nourish and sustain us. We’ve probably all heard that catch phrase: You are what you eat. In a very real sense, we ARE what we eat.
If we take Jesus’ analogy deeper, the truth of what he is teaching us through this dinner (known as the Lord’s Supper) is revealed.
First of all, let’s understand what God’s true nature is. To me, the most profound “God is” statement is found in I John 4:8—“God is love.” It is God’s love which gave us the Messiah in the first place—“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) So my thoughts naturally go to how I can take in Love so that I am that Love. By feasting on Jesus with my mind, my thoughts and my actions, I take in Love and become transformed, not only BY that LOVE, but INTO that Love. I become Love—a different kind of love than I have ever experienced. This kind of love is not the love which picks and chooses to whom it will be offered. This kind of love is not the love which could be withheld at will or could come to an end one day. This is a radiant, shining, pure, eternal Love…and it is our essence in Christ!
Jesus’ great “High Priestly” prayer was that we become one with God, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity . . . “ (John 17: 22-23a) Paul takes up this theme of unity in love in his letter to the Colossians, saying, “. . . put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
Jesus gave us a sign by which we can know who His disciples are. He said, “All men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another . . . “ (John 13: 35)
As we take in Jesus, in effect eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, we see our nature transformed as Love, united with God in Christ. Jesus’ prayer is fulfilled and our reality shifts as we interact with one another. The old self drops away, dissolves, and we find a new unified self at one with God and humanity. (Colossians 3:9b-11)
You are what you eat!
Questions to ponder:
What are the ways you “feast on Jesus?”
How does being aware of the reality of your unity with God and with each other change how you feel about the people in your life? and how you interact with them?