At The Table Our Soul Receives His Risen Flesh, His Soul Life (1.24.14)
Job 19,26: "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God." KJ
Ephesians 5,31-32: "and the two shall become one flesh. 32 There is a great, hidden meaning here in this, but I am speaking about Christ and the church."
Mark 16,12: "But later on he appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking into the country."
John 6,54: "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in me."
1Thessalonians5,23: "And may your whole being- spirit, soul, and body- be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1Corinthians 15,44-45: "what is sown is a natural body, and what is raised is a spiritual body. 45 If there is a natural body, there is a spiritual body too." NJB
This is the twenty second table of the Lord meditation and Praise Jesus it could be the one that unlocks a new found understanding for us. Without a biblical faith, we are not likely to gain any new understanding or go back to the supper as depcited in the bible.
Most of the body of Christ has accepted either dogmatic non biblical formalism, or relegated the supper to mere symbolism, and then, logically, concluded "why do it at all?"
But as we have said many times, Jesus commanded it!
Our principal text today is Ephesians 5,32, the context of which is the total giving of husband to his wife, and vice versa, so much so, that Paul says they become "one flesh."
We understand the physical aspect of the "one flesh" idea of marriage, but Paul is saying more- that this "one flesh" union also describes our church and Jesus.
What's up with that?
He's certainly not talking any physicality between Jesus and his church.
He's saying that there is something more to the union-communion between a man and a woman in marriage. And more importantly for our topic here- there is something more to the union-communion of us with Jesus than being a juridical member of the church.
Paul is saying that the two of us, He and His called out ones, His church, become one life, one soul, one heart, yet he does so using the term "flesh."
Now we fast forward to John 6,54 that says unless we eat his "flesh" and drink his blood we have no eternal life is us.
Well, just as Paul wasn't speaking about the church and Jesus becoming one flesh in a physical sense, Jesus (prophesying in John 6) is not telling us to eat his physical flesh, but His risen flesh, that is take in his resurrection life, consume him as the one who gives life to our souls, collectively and individually, the soul he alone gave us, the soul which defines our biblical personhood and defines and unifies His body, the church.
At the table we eat real flesh and real drink, real soul food, real soul drink.
So when we come to it with ongoing repentance and faith, discerning his crucified body on Calvary, we will be fed his risen flesh, aka the living bread that came down from heaven (John 6,50) and ascended back to heaven.
So when we bless ordinary unleavened bread on the table and we come with an appropriate faith, it is written that we eat his "flesh and drink his blood," risen that is, Spiritual blood, still "flowing" (cf John 19,34).
The Vatican state church since 1560 and the Council of Trent have been stuck on the physical aspects of the bread and wine (a counter Reformation argument) claiming that we physically eat his pre Calvary body, and drink his pre-Calvary blood.
Revelation 19,17-18 helps us out as to the Spiritual nature of what we eat and drink at the table.
It speaks in the same apparently physicalistic terms of John 6,54. But I am aware of no Christian who claims that this verse speaks to the victorious faithful actually eating God's human and their human enemies and their raw horse meat, their means of warfare: "Come gather for God's banquet, to feast on the flesh of kings, of commanders, of mighty men, of horses, and of their riders, on the flesh of everyone, free and slave, small and great."
Rather, this verse encourages the faithful overcomers (Revelation 3,21 and "elders" worthy to sit on 24 thrones per 4,4) who will inherit the earth and it's final kingdom and who will help execute the judgment of Jesus on the ungodly.
"Eating" the physcal flesh of these evil ones is a figurative and rhetorical statement. It's like when athletes "trash talk" each other: "I'm going to eat you up on that field and spit you out. I'm going to school you. I'm going to outlast and judge your sorry self."
This "eating" language is not physical.
1Corinthians11,28-29 also reveals the judgment-discernment theme of both John 6,54 and Revelation19,17-18.
Those who do not discern the body, who do not eat and drink with a faith that realizes what Christ's faithful body and blood did for them on Calvary condemn themselves to a negative judgement:
"But let a person look carefully at himself and in that spirit eat of the bread and drink from the cup; for whoever eat and drinks without due appreciation of the body of Christ, eats and drinks to his own condemnation."
In each of these three scriptures, from John6,Rev.19, and 1Cor.11, eating "flesh" and drinking "blood" involves a judgment, either a positive discernment that we are on course for the kingdom, or a negative one telling us we are off course.
Eating and drinking at the table of the Lord brings these final biblical truths into focus.
But the extra serious discernment-judgment aspect of the Lord's supper also suggests that the actual blessing of the cup, as it is written in 1Corinthians 10,16 and the likely blessing of the bread before breaking it (as it is written, a sacrificial act) makes the supper way more than symbols of his body and blood.
In fact, if the supper is merely symbolic, blessing symbols doesn't make them any more or less of what they already are, so why bless anything? This is the conclusion of many modern Christians, but it flatly contradicts 1Cor.10,16 and what Jesus did when he instituted the supper.
This is the state of the Lord's supper today- either discarded in a symbolic rut, celebrated without any blessing of anything, or dogmatic physicality.
Conclusion: In the Bible "Flesh" Is Sometimes More Than Physical
But if the "one flesh" per Ephesians 5,32, and the soon to be judged "flesh" of Revelation19,17-18 means more than physical literal flesh (ie one's eternal it-will-rise-one-way-or-the-other flesh-soul that seeks communion or not with God), and describes a distinct spiritual reality of communion or judgment, why can't the "flesh" of John 6,54 mean bread that comes down from heaven (John6,50) when holy people look up to God and bless it and break it following the holy command of the Lord according to 1Corinthians 10-12 and Luke 22,19?
So if we're hungry with faith at the table, and if God agrees to honor our blessing, as it is written, we consume his risen flesh and risen blood, His very life, the life of his soul-flesh.
One Spiritual "flesh", one cup, one body, one Spirit, one and the same eternal life, individually and for us as church.
I think I hear him saying is anyone out there hungry for what the table offers them?
Open Table Open Offer
So friends we at Zion Pentecost Mission believe that the table of the Lord is a great and important place to be- if you would like to test the spirit of this bible based Lord's supper and would like Br. Tobin to celebrate with you- please contact us.
for a short video of the supper: http://vimeo.com/63572579
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...