I am that bread of life…This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world….Verily, verily, I say unto you, except you eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you….As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eats of me, even he shall live by me… -John 6:48-57
Sounds like cannibalism, right? At this point is would be good to remember Harold’s earlier assertion that the earliest humans were probably cannibals, most likely feeding off the brains of their fellow humans. So Jesus here is tapping into something very primordial within mankind. Yet the idea of eating of a fellow human being offends us.
Jesus speaks these words, then asks, “Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” Here, He makes plain that His strange words are not to be taken literally – that He is sacrament only in the sense that this word means token or symbol of the truth he tries to convey.
OK, so Jesus isn’t talking about literal cannibalism. As Harold sees Jesus as the outward symbol of the inward I AM, it is best to read Jesus’ words as “The I AM is the bread of life…The I AM is the living bread which came down from heaven…He that eats of the I AM shall live by the I AM…”
Within the mystery of the I AM is the mystery of the sustenance of all of life:
The profound mystery of life, the mystery of sustaining it, is wrapped up in these words and in the sacramental, symbolic enactment of them a t the last supper: “Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
And although it may offend us, life feeds on life in order for existence to continue…
In the view of this study, Jesus spoke profound biological truth. To do so, He unlocked His unconscious and let the voice of life itself, “I,” speak freely through Him. His words did offend, still offend. But “does this offend you?” – life cannot exist without something that is extracted from living or once-living tissue. That something is an enzyme.
Oh, this sounds like it’s going to be interesting! Can’t wait for the next post.
Until then, peace…