My Prayer for EBC in 2016
As I sat in the second service on Sunday, I was struck by the fact that Jesus has told us to drink His blood and eat His body (Luke 22:19-20). At first hearing, this sounds less like a call to life and more like the beginnings of a horror movie.
In John chapter 4, we see that Jesus is the water of life and that to drink of Him, one will never go thirsty again. Then in John chapter 6, after feeding well over 5000 people (about 5000 men), Jesus gives them a very hard teaching: He is the true manna (think Exodus). He is the bread of life. Verse 51: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Many of his disciples left him after this teaching. Christians later would have a false reputation as “cannibals”.
So how does a person drink “the water of life” that is Jesus? How does one eat of his flesh and drink of His blood? Is it simply by eating a tiny tasteless cracker and drinking a tablespoon of grape juice? I think the answer is back in verse 29: “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” True belief in his body and blood as the only sin-atoning, life-giving sacrifice IS to eat and drink of his body. They impart to us life eternal through belief that they in fact do this and nothing else can. In a sense, Christians are spiritual cannibals. We partake of God in order to have Him and His righteousness in us. Without this, Jesus says we have no life in us (John 6:53). This is a hard teaching. Further proof that the Gospel is true and not contrived by men.
I pray that God would earmark 2016 for more and greater belief at EBC. That we would share the water of life and the bread of life with our friends and neighbors rather than hogging him to ourselves. That Jesus would be on our lips.
May we spend 2016 praising the Lord for His glorious Gospel and partaking in the One who is everything we need and more!
Pastor Matt Daniells