As a therapist, I know the feel of flesh and bone, tendon and ligament, nerves and blood vessels. Hurting people come and trust me to care for them and take part in their healing. I feel their bodies change and heal under my hands. Scar tissue is released, muscles start working again, edema leaves and pain becomes a memory. The thought of bodies and lives being broken and maimed is repugnant. Jesus’ statement is harsh to my ears, and he was well aware that it was going to stir up trouble:
I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. John 4:53
To me it smacks of cannibalism, but rings true. The reality of his physical body and blood crushed for me is the very thing that my life depends on. As much as I love and am loved by family and friends, they can not save my life. All the riches, pleasures and knowledge in the world can not save me. It is only by his grace, his body broken for me, his blood shed for me that I get to truly live. Too often, my life does not reflect what I know deep down, but oh, how I want it to. Like David, I can laugh a little at the obvious logic of my life’s dependency:
For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? II Sam 22:24
With Peter, I can recognize the futility of looking anywhere else for salvation:
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. John 6:68-69.
Lord, words fail to describe the depth and beauty of your fierce love for me. How is it that I am the recipient of such wonder filled grace? How is it that I grow distracted and lose sight of this? Anchor my heart solidly in the reality of your love so that I am not prone drift. Keep me in the palm of your hand and may the thoughts in my head, the words of my mouth and my actions come from a life that is grateful and does not wander. Thank you.