Table of the Lord Meditation N. 33


Consuming Jesus' Risen Flesh

"All flesh is not the same: there is human flesh, flesh of beasts, of birds, and of fishes- all different. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; and the splendour of the heavenly bodies is one thing, the splendour of the earthly another. 41 The sun has a splendour of its own, the moon another splendour, and the stars yet another; and one star differs from another in brightness. 42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead: what is sown as a persihable things is raised an imperishable. 43 Sown in humiliation, it is raised in glory; sown in weakness, it is raised in power; sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is such a thing as a physical body, there is also a spiritual body."   REB 1Corinthians15,39-44

"I am the living bread that has come down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread, he will live for ever. The bread which I shall give [future, ie a prophecy of the supper] is my own flesh [risen flesh contains both risen body and blood], given for the life of the world."  REB John6,51

"The word became flesh to make us partakers of the divine nature." 2Peter1,4 

"Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this [eating his flesh and drinking his blood], Jesus said to them. "Does it offend you? 62 What if you were to see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing." John6,61-63 which is the context of the following:

"How many would the body be sufficient for eating, that there might be food for eating, that it should become the food of the whole world? But for this reason He made mention of the ascension of the son of Man into heaven, in order that he might draw them away from the bodily notion, and that from henceforth they might learn that the aforesaid flesh was heavenly eating from above, and spiritual food given by Him. For 'what I have spoken unto you is spirit and life,' as much to say, 'that which is manifested and is given for the life of the world is the flesh which I wear. But this and its blood shall be given to you by me spiritually as food, so that this may be imparted spiritually to each one, and may become to all a perservative for resurrection to eternal life.' " 

Br. Athanasius, mid 4th century, from Letter to Serapion N. 4 (Ep. ad Serapion IV) from "The Primitive Tradition of the Eucharistic Body and Blood" Lucius Waterman, Longman's 1919, p.77-78.

"The reason for this mention of the ascension into heaven of the son of man (cf. John6,61ff) was in order to draw them away from the material notion; that thenceforward they might learn that the flesh spoke of was heavenly food from above and spiritual nourishment given from him. For, he says, 'what I have spoken to you is spirit and life; which is to say, 'What is displayed and given for the world's salvation is the flesh which I wear: but this flesh and its blood will be given to you by me spiritually as nourishment so that this may be bestowed spiritually on each, and may become for individuals a safequard to ensure resurrection to eternal life."

Athanasius, Ibid, with a more modern translation from "Worshipping With The Fathers" Christopher A. Hall, Intravarsity, 2009. p.72-3.

We have been wrestling in these meditations with Jesus' words at the last supper: "take and eat; this is my body." and "Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the covenant..." (Matthew26,26-27).

They are prophetic of  his risen body and blood, that come by way of our faithful blessing as part of our new spiritual sacrifice (1Peter2,5), or memorial (1Corinthians11,24; Luke22,19).

Jesus himself commanded us to celebrate this.

As we demonstrated in Meditation N. 32 this Spiritual memorial hearkens back to grain offering memorial of Leviticus2,2-3 and Leviticus9,4, the latter being part of the multiple sacrifces upon the ordination of priests. These sacrifices were all accepted by God only upon the faithful blessing of Moses of and over the people, whereupon at 9,23-24 the sacrifices were consumed by God's accompanying post blessing presence, a miracle that was experienced by all.

It is this very same Holy Spirit blessing at the supper that opens the way to the prophecy of Jesus at the last supper, of our eating his risen body and blood. 

We keep in mind that this is not a mediation by any church, or minister, or angel at all. It is simply the risen Jesus making good on his prophetic promise to remember us, as we remember Him, by feeding us with real food and real drink (1Corinthians10,3-4

We begin today with John 6,51 today wherein Jesus prophesies the promise that at the table, after he has resurrected and ascended, he will give us his own risen flesh to eat, flesh by way of our faithful blessing and His accompanying blessing.

This risen flesh is the only flesh Jesus has now (1Corinthians15,50).

(If we insist on a physical flesh and blood we either have to go to the late arising non biblical mysticism, ie transubstantiation, of the Vatican State church, or the mystical fundamentalism of Luther. But again, as heirs of the Jews, we stay on course not veering to the right or left and instead unravel faith mysteries by way of the revelatory word-Spirit that comes from above, rather than the rites and knowledge that come from man.

And the word at 1Corinthians10,16 and elsewhere says we simply bless, we consecrate, the cup and the bread. Consecrations were a vital part of the Hebrew religion, and uphold Jesus' actions at the supper, and our universal non mystical, non ordained, holy Christian priesthood, that openly invites every person baptized in the Spirit to bless the cup, 1Corinthians10,16).

So Athanasius (296-373AD) calls the blessed bread and wine, what comes from his risen flesh  "heavenly food from above."

1Corinthians10,3-4, in the very context of comparing manna in the desert to the Lord's supper, suggests that it is "real food and drink."

So neither Jesus or the Apostle Paul is talking about symbolic food and drink when it comes to the Lord's Supper.

Jesus didn't prophesy giving us symbols. We're not just having a new passover-like celebration.

We are actually consecrating the bread and wine.

And we, as heirs to the Jews, cannot eat physical flesh with physcial blood still in it (Leviticus19,6 and Genesis 9,4).

"His flesh for the life of the world" (John6,51) is not just about his physical flesh sacrifced on Calvary, but also his risen flesh (1Corinthians15,39ff, Hebrews10,5), which by definition contains his risen body and risen "blood."

"All flesh is not the same" (1Corinthians15,39).

His came in physical flesh in the incarnation, but he rose and ascended in Spiritual flesh which he then shares with us at the supper 

So, if Jesus came in the flesh defining His very incarnation in the Spiritual terms as "living-bread-come-down-from-heaven", and this description comes in the prophetic context the Lord's supper, and the confusion of some of his Jewish followers, about their rightful unwillingness to eat his physical body and drink his physical blood (John6,60), why would any begrudge his feeding us his living and risen flesh at the supper?

Not to mention that he's an eternal risen lamb (Revelation5,6).

A risen Jesus-God, who is also a lamb always has access to the blood, per John's vision of John19,34 whereby Jesus' "blood" eternally flows from his pierced side.

Are We Passing Jesus' Lord's Supper Test Of John 6 and Exodus16?

"Yet there are some of you who have no faith." John6,64

Jesus gave his disciples in John 6 a fore test of the Lord's supper, which still continues to test the faithful today.

God did the same with the manna in the desert:

"The Lord said to Moses, 'I shall rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather a day's supply, so that I can put them to the test and see whether they follow my instructions or not." Exodus16,4

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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.