With his words, Jesus caused quite a stir in the synagogue at Capernaum. Jesus said, "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. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them," (John 6:53-56).
In hearing this, those listening understood Jesus' words uniquely in their literal sense. They knew the food laws of Leviticus 11 & 17. They weren't cannibals and they didn't drink blood.
So how are we to understand Jesus' words? We find help in verse 35 where Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." Jesus is the bread of heaven. Heaven's bread is a Person.
We are called to believe and remain in him. A continuing theme in John's gospel is remaining or abiding in Christ. The application for our lives is in learning to abide each day in Christ. In the words of Ray Stedman, "This sharing of life with Jesus will, later on in the gospel, become the theme for the Upper Room Discourse. I do not think you can find any theme more exalted, more remarkable, more mysterious tham this--sharing of life between us: 'You in me, and I in you,' (John 14:20). That is the way Jesus put it."
Pastor Paul Bergquam