God loves you so much He wants to give Himself to you

When you eat a hamburger, you actually start the digestion process by smelling the burger before the bread even touches your mouth.
 
When the the molecules from the burger hit your nose, the receptor cells in your nose send electrical signals to your brain - “Hamburgers Coming!"
 
Your brain responds by signaling glands in your mouth and esophagus to start producing saliva.
 
 
 
Then you bite a piece off hamburger with your teeth, and you tongue tastes the meat, bread, and pickles.
 
Now receptor cells in the tongue sends out big time electrical impulses to the brain - “we’ve got hamburger!"
 
Your brain signals more saliva and digestive enzymes, and starts up the moving and crushing muscles in your esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
 
Now you use your jaw muscles and your teeth to chew and grind up the hamburger and mix it with saliva, which also starts to break down the carbohydrates in the bread and also helps the little hamburger ball to slide.
 
Your tongue helps get this ground up hamburger ball back to your throat, where you swallow it.
 
The muscles in your esophagus undulate, and move the hamburger ball down to your stomach, where a flap opens up and let’s the hamburger ball in.
 
You stomach muscles are now mashing up the hamburger while enzymes and hydrochloric acid break down the hamburger into hamburger juice, and those same muscles push the hamburger juice into your small intestine, where the magic happens.
 
Enzymes from your pancreas, liver, and gallbladder and your small intestine, and these enzymes break down carbohydrates, fats,  and separate proteins into amino acids.
 
Now, as muscles of your small intestine move the hamburger juice along, specialized cells in the walls of your small intestine grab sugars, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.  
 
All of these nutrients are then send off throughout your body for energy to keep you alive or as building blocks for your new body tissue.
 
The parts of the hamburger that your body cannot use are then dried out, compacted, and pushed out of your large intestine.
 
Amazing.
 
That hamburger that was is you at ate is now, quite literally, you.
 
The hamburger now is part of your face, your right hand, or your heart.
 
This fact of digestion, the fact that we really are what we eat, is one key to understanding what Jesus is up to in his outrageous invitation us to eat His flesh and drink His blood.
 
_____
 
“Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 
 
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.
 
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.
 
Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me."
 
This Judeans’ in the crowd had just as hard a time hearing this invitation as we do.
 
Is he really telling us to be cannibals and eat human flesh?
 
Repulsive!
 
And drink his blood?  
 
Seriously?
 
The entire complex system of ritually prepared meat —including the sacrifice of meat at the Temple in Jerusalem—centered around the Law’s prohibition to never ever eat the blood of an animal — never mind human blood!
 
The law in Leviticus familiar to the Judeans says:
10  If anyone of the house of Israel or of the aliens who reside among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood, and will cut that person off from the people.
11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you for making atonement for your lives on the altar; for, as life, it is the blood that makes atonement.
12  Therefore I have said to the people of Israel: No person among you shall eat blood, nor shall any alien who resides among you eat blood.
….
14  For the life of every creature—its blood is its life; ...          Leviticus 17:10-14 (NRSV)
Leviticus understands blood to contain the life given by God; the life that is returned to God in sacrifice to restore our relationship with God and the life that always belongs to God.
 
The Judeans, observant of the law of Moses, don’t eat flesh mixed with blood because they understand blood to contain life itself, which only belongs to God.
 
So who does this Jesus think he is to offer us his flesh and blood to eat and the life that belongs to God along with it?
 
Only God could rightfully invite someone to eat and drink the life that belongs to God alone.
 
The life that still is present after the flesh is consumed and the blood is poured out.
 
Eternal Life.
 
And Eternal Life that is exactly what God in the person of Jesus is offering us.
 
The Eternal Life of the Father that the Father gives Jesus the Son.
 
The Eternal Life from the Father that now lives in the physical body and blood of Jesus.
 
The Eternal Life that is Jesus himself and that Jesus offers to us to eat and drink.
 
Why does Jesus offer all of God’s Eternal Life in himself to us?
 
And Jesus offers himself because Jesus loves you, and you, and you, and the people walking their dogs outside, and the people in their houses, and the people on the other side of the planet.
 
Jesus loves you as much as the Father loves Jesus.
 
The Father gives and pours Himself out into Jesus, and Jesus wants to give himself and pour out His body and blood into you.
 
Jesus the Son invites you to eat his flesh and drink his blood because he loves you and wants to always be with you in love.
 
Jesus invites you to eat him and digest him.
 
Jesus invites you to eat him and digest Him so Jesus can live in every cell your body.
 
Jesus invites you to eat and digest Him so Jesus can become your body and you can become Jesus’ body.
 
The Father in Jesus, and Jesus in you, and you and Jesus together in the Father.
 
"Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me."
 
This is the Great Wedding Feast, the Great Wedding Feast for you, and me, and Jesus, and the Father. 
 
This is the Wedding Feast we will celebrate here today and every time we share in the Eucharist — which literally means “Good Gift."
 
When we share in the Eucharist, through our prayers and and thanksgivings we offer ourselves and our lives to the Father.
 
And in the Eucharist, under the forms of the bread and wine, Jesus offers us the Good Gift — His own body, His own blood, His own Eternal Life.
 
God offers Himself to you because He loves you so much.
 
All you have to do is accept the gift and eat.
 
Amen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.