John 6:53-59 ESV
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as He taught at Capernaum.
• Jesus is masterful at making sure people don’t stay in the valley of decision for long. People can’t stay in the middle, they just can't. He went for the most graphic language to make sure people understood the importance of it all. Jesus was saying, “Either it’s all Me or none of Me.”
COMMUNION IS A DECISION REMINDER: Have you embraced the good idea or the God identity that’s yours as a follower of Jesus Christ?
Up until this, people might have thought it was just a cool thing to follow Jesus
— He walks on water, does miracles, et cetera, but then He comes out of nowhere with this language. This can’t just be a good idea. You have to identify with every part of Jesus. People get caught up in the good ideas but ideas fail. It needs to become a part of your identity.
Example: Having children is a good idea but becoming a parent is a whole different story. The idea of love is fun, but real love is a war. Having a good marriage is not just a good idea, it’s a vow.
The idea of Christianity: The religious feeling, coming in and feeling good about yourself... this isn’t just a social replacement instead of going to the club, it’s not just something you do. It’s who you are. Letting go of bitterness is not just a good idea; heaven and hell is not just an idea.
If you ever find yourself caught in the middle ground, in the crossroads, don’t get hit by this train called life. Communion reminds us that we’ve crossed over from the middle ground. Don’t get caught living on the fence. It’s uncomfortable.
TWO THINGS YOU GAVE UP THE RIGHT TO DO (IF YOU CROSSED OVER):
1) When you cross over to following Jesus, you give up the right to give some.
• A rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22) has a lot of things going for him. He did great things, but Jesus says, “Yeah you did good but I want that too.” And he hung his head. Jesus doesn’t want just some of the good. We don’t know what happened to him. God wants one thing: E V E R Y T H I N G.
• BIG QUESTION: Is there still some of you in you?
• Keep in mind, we did not cross over to follow Jesus to carry any of us with us.
• Is there a little of the old habits, poverty mentality, old bitterness, et cetera, that’s crossed over with you?
• Communion reminds you that this is a "now" faith. Don’t say that “someday” you’ll give when you have more. “Someday” you might be just like you are right now: stingy. “Someday” and “almost” are curse words in our church. What you have right now is what God wants to use. He’s not interested in what kind of account your keeping for down the road. He wants you to use what’s in your hands now. Jesus gave it all so we can give it all. He gave all His grace so we can convey all His grace.
• Move from the land of the forsaken to the land of the forgiven.
2) When you cross over to following Jesus, you gave up the right to give up.
• Silent scripture in the rich young ruler story is that he gave up when he hung his head. Jesus didn’t give up on anyone so we’re not gonna give up on anyone either. You can’t give up on your marriage. Your dream that got delayed, don’t give up. Your friend that keeps falling and you want to walk away, you gave up the right to give up on them. You might hit something that’s so heavy that it’ll make you want to give up. If you don’t have this revelation then you’ll give up too soon. Even when you fail, God doesn’t. His grace is sufficient. The cross is a high blinking light that says, NEVER GIVE UP.