It is clear that Jesus was talking symbolically. The Jews should have understood that because the Lord Himself specifically prohibited the use of blood for food “you shall not eat the blood” (Deut. 12:16). The reason given for this prohibition is that the blood is the life of a creature (Gen. 9:4).
Jesus had just declared that “he that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6: 47); now He added, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.” From this it is clear that to eat His flesh and drink His blood means to believe, to have faith in Him. It means to receive Him as a personal Savior, believing that He forgives our sins, and that we are complete in Him. It is only because Christ gave His human life for us that we can partake of His divine, eternal life “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
And it is not enough to partake of Christ once at the moment of being born again but His children must continually nourish their spiritual minds by daily feeding on His word and prayer. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:4-6).
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In His service,
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