In the first verses of John 6, John makes note of the fact that the Passover was near. During the Passover observance, Jews partake of elements to remind them of aspects of the first Passover. The first Passover, God told the Israelites to smear the blood of a lamb on their window frames and doorposts so the angel of death would pass over their homes and not enter during the last plague God sent to force Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free.
Two aspects of the Passover celebration are the unleavened bread and four cups of wine. The unleavened bread is symbolic of the bread the Israelites took with them as the left Egypt. The four cups of wine represents deliverance, the blood of the lamb, that forced Pharaoh to let them go free.
When Jesus shared what we call the last supper with the disciples, he broke the bread saying this is my body and shared the wine saying this is my blood. His disciples would have understood there was symbolism connected to the Passover but not fully yet at that time.
Jesus taught them how it is that one can have eternal life in verse 40.
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Jesus is the source of eternal life, He is the source of forgiveness from God. He is the source of deliverance.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he said:
“behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
When Jesus held up the cup of wine representing deliverance during the ‘last supper’, he said this is my blood shed for you. That cup of wine was symbolic of the blood of the lambs smeared on the doorways and window of the homes of the Israelites. When Jesus died for us, his blood was poured out for our deliverance from sin and judgement. so when Jesus said of the cup during the last supper, “this is my blood”, he was referring to the symbolism the wine had for his blood being shed for us.
When Jesus told the crowds that whoever eats of his flesh and drinks of his blood abides in him, the crowds left finding it offensive. The disciples stayed saying to Jesus, “you have the words of eternal life.”
The pivotal difference between “Protestants” and Catholics is the view of communion. Do the bread and wine, grape juice in some churches, spiritually become the body and blood of Jesus or are they symbols in a ceremony of rememberance.
The fact that John makes note of the Passover being near in the same chapter sheds light on context. In John’s mind there is a connection from the beginning of the chapter mentioning the Passover is near, the feeding of thousands with a few fish and a few loaves of bread, and Jesus saying he is the bread of heaven. The physical bread Jesus fed them with was a symbol of the spiritual bread Jesus spoke of when he said, I am the bread of heaven.
The question is whether we have looked to Jesus?
Have we trusted in Jesus?
Thank you for reading. God Bless.