Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you" (John 6:53)
In this verse of Scripture, the act of eating is mentioned. There is nothing imaginary or mystical about eating, and when we eat a definite action is performed; we have taken something in, and in taking it we possess it in the truest sense of the word; we appropriate the thing eaten in the fullest measure, so that it becomes part and parcel of ourselves. Moreover, eating is a very individual matter, as one cannot eat for another: Each must do it for himself if nourishment is to be derived.
There is an oft recurring phrase in our conversation: “There is an exception to every rule." In this beautiful verse of Scripture, spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ we have a rule and an exception.
The RULE is that as ordinary men and women, poor sinful mortals, we have no life in us. Here are the words of the Son of God, "Verily, verily I say unto you . . . ye have no life in you." Ponder these very solemn words, dear Reader. This rule includes each one of us, for every child born into the world, starts out on life's journey without divine life. Listen again to the words of Jesus, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you."
Here is the EXCEPTION: those who have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man drunk His blood no longer remain in their hopeless state of moral and spiritual death, away from God, but have His life in them. Eating and drinking are the strongest terms of APPROPRIATION, so that in eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood we appropriate His death for ourselves, by living faith, a faith that brings what belongs to that death into the deep recesses of the heart.
Look at Ephesians 3:17. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;" and again in 1 Peter 3:15, "Set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts" (R.V.). As we lay hold on Christ by faith, whether in death or in life (for He is risen from the dead) we take Him into our hearts, making Him our very own, so that He becomes part of ourselves. What are we to learn from "The flesh of the Son of Man," and from "His blood?" The Holy Spirit, in chapter 1 speaks thus of Him, "In the beginning was the Word . . . and the Word was made flesh." Before angels, before worlds, before time, before men, the Son was in the eternal beginning, but in one act, the Son of God has taken a mighty stoop from Godhead glory into Manhood. Here then, His flesh speaks of His humanity, His down-stooping grace. His blood as apart from His flesh surely speaks of His death; and it was with death in view He became flesh; an absolute necessity if God was to be glorified in relation to sin.
We discern in His flesh and His blood that which meets the intrinsic holiness of God, and that which meets our state and our guilt as dead and guilty before Him; and feeding thus upon His death we partake of LIFE, eternal life, and enter into the wonderful love made manifest in that wondrous death.