Discovering Spiritual Nourishment.
“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Imagine going without any food for an extended period. It does not take long for the body to feel the effects. Skip a few meals, and the stomach starts to growl in displeasure. Without the daily supply of food and water, we quickly begin to feel the effects. The average person can only survive about 3-4 days without water and only between 1 and 2 months without food. However, we not only need adequate food and water, but we need the proper diet of food. We can be gorging ourselves with food, but if it is not balanced correctly, we can either become obese or suffer malnutrition. It is estimated that 20% of Americans do not have enough to eat, and 75% of Americans do not eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. All this contributes to more significant health problems. As a result, there is a continual emphasis for people to be intentional in what they eat.
While we spend a great deal of time providing for our physical nutrition and physical need for water, how much do we spend taking care of our spiritual nourishment. Tragically, countless people spend a great deal of time addressing their physical health but neglect entirely their spiritual health.
In this passage, Christ offends the Jews, for He tells them that if a person wants eternal life, they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. This deeply offended them, for they wrongfully thought He talked about His physical body and blood. For them, He seemed to be promoting cannibalism. However, Christ was not talking about His physical body and blood; instead, He used food and water as an analogy for their spiritual lives. Just as they need to take care of their physical bodies, they need to take care of their spiritual bodies as well. Physically we provide for our wellbeing by eating proper food and drinking adequate water. Spiritually we also need food and water, and that is found in the person of Christ. The point that Christ is making is that spiritual life can only come through Him and participating in His salvation. Christ continually points out that He is the basis of our spiritual life and that spiritual health can only be found in our relationship with Him. He is the vine, and we are the branches. Paul writes to the church at Colossi that Christ is our life (Col 3:4). He is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6). In Him is life (John 1:4). Just as we die without physical food and water, we die spiritually if we do not have a relationship with Christ (1 John 5:11).
We must then ask ourselves, what are we doing to cultivate our spiritual life? What are we doing to maintain our connection with Christ so that His life is flowing through us? But this leads to another question. If Christ is the source of our life, how do we cultivate that life? How do we partake of His life? The answer is fourfold. First, it begins by accepting Him as our Savior. Second, it involves the daily intake of the Bible, which is the source of Christ’s life (Matthew 4:4). Third, it involves daily conversing with Christ through prayer. Last it involves regular fellowship with other believers that is centered upon our mutual communion with Christ. Are you spiritually anemic or spiritually vibrant?