Jesus’ Flesh & Blood
In John 6:53-56, Jesus told the Jews that if they do not partake of His “Flesh” and “Blood,” they cannot have Eternal Life – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eats My Flesh and drink My Blood has Eternal Life; and I will raise him up at the Last Day. For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, dwells in Me, and I in him.” Though some teach that John 6:53-56 is a reference to “Elements” of The Lord’s Table (Communion), the context testifies to the “Perpetual Eating by Faith” of the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. A comparison of the two passages (John 6:40 and John 6:54) found in John 6:41-59 helps us to see how an Individual can “eat” Christ’s Flesh and “drink” Christ’s Blood.
|a||Everyone who sees the Son||b||and believes in Him|
|c||may have Everlasting Life||d||and I will raise him up at the Last Day|
|a1||Whoever eats My Flesh||b1||and drinks My Blood|
|c1||has Eternal Life||d1||and I will raise him up at the Last Day|
The literary structure of the above John 6:40 & John 6:54 shows parallelism, and thus we can conclude that the Recipient of these Promises are the same: “Sees” (a) and “believes” (b) in John 6:40 are parallel to the “eats” (a1) and “drinks” (b1) in John 6:54. Jesus is therefore speaking about the importance of the Individual Believer’s Faith in His Shed-Blood and Broken-Body on the Cross of Calvary in order to receive Eternal Life.
Jesus speaks in John 6:56 that “He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood dwells in Me, and I in him.” The present participle form of the Greek terms for “eats” and “drinks” implies that the Individual Believer’s Faith in the Blood and Death of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a continuing one. In other words, only the Individual Believer who continually feeds on the Atoning Redemptive Power of Christ’s Blood and His Death can enter into Union with Him. Christ’s Flesh and Blood offered on the Cross at Calvary is Life-Giving to every Individual Believer. In John 6 passage, Jesus gives Eternal Life to an Individual who would place his/her trust on His (Christ’s) Atoning-Redemptive Work on the Cross at Calvary, where His (Christ’s) Body was broken, and His (Christ’s) Blood was shed, as God’s Lamb, in His Sacrificial Substitutional Death (John 1:29, 36).
Jesus’ teaching as recorded in John 6 emphasise the importance of Faith in His (Christ’s) Shed Blood and His Broken Body, to receive Eternal Life. In John 6:32-50, Jesus introduced Himself as the “Bread of Life,” and the necessity of believing in Him for Eternal Life. Then in John 6:51, He (Jesus) said: “…the Bread that I will give is My Flesh, which I (Jesus) will give for the life of the world.” Jesus is referring to His Sacrificial-Substitutionary-Death and His Shed Blood, that provides Eternal Life for All who believe. But the Jews are confused about Christ’s saying, and asked, “How can this Man (Jesus) gives us His Flesh?” (John 6:52). Then, Jesus answered them, “Except you eat the Flesh of the Son of God and drink His Blood, you have no Life (Eternal-Life).” (John 6:53).
By introducing His (Christ’s) “Blood” together with His (Christ’s) “Flesh,” Jesus is revealing to the Jews that His Own Atoning-Redemptive Sacrifice involved His Own Flesh and His Own Blood (John 1:29, 36 – The Lamb of God). As it is with the Jewish Sin-Offering, the “blood” is crucial; so also, is Christ’s Blood in His Atoning-Redemptive Work for the Salvation to All. It is Christ’s Shed Blood and His Death, that brings Eternal Life to Believers. The term “Christ’s Blood,” and “Christ’s Flesh,” are used literally and not figuratively. Jesus literally Shed His Precious Blood, and Sacrificed His Body; thus, it is both Christ’s Sacrifice (His Broken Body and Shed Blood), in His Death, and our receiving His Shed Blood and Death, in Faith, that gives us Eternal Life.