Digesting Jesus

Digesting Jesus
Written by: Kris Vallotton
[Originally posted here.]

When Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink his blood, he wasn’t talking about cannibalism, but he was referring to ingestion that leads to incarnation. Christ was the Word that became flesh. It is important that we ingest the Word of God in a way that causes us to digest His life until Christ is literally formed in us. Ingestion without digestion will lead to feeling full but not being transformed. Digestion is more than just a taste test, it is the full meal of His presence that conforms us to His image. There is an old saying that is true in this case, “You are what you eat!”

Many people ingest the Bible but they don’t digest the living, active Word of God. Religion fills their souls but never satisfies their longing for real life. Digestion requires assimilation, not just consumption. Truth was never meant to just be recounted, it was intended to be experienced. When we exchange the communion meal for a dinner commentary or a cookbook, we deprive ourselves of the privilege of abundant life, and relegate ourselves to a meager existence in the Kingdom.

Jesus never intended for us to be full of religion, but He desired us to be filled with His Spirit. Christ is the ultimate happy meal, and as we digest Him, we become one flesh with him. That is why Jesus prayed that, “We may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me…The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”

Christ is not talking about His disciples getting along with each other here. He was describing the unity between the babe and the Bridegroom, where the intimacy of intercourse assimilates us into one flesh. When we come to the communion table and eat the flesh of our King, we become an inseparable unity that causes the world to experience His presence every time they encounter us. In other words, when they see us, they have seen the Father.

We are Christ to the world. I don’t mean that we just preach Christ to the world. I mean people should experience Christ when they meet us because it is Jesus who is being formed in us. As a matter of fact, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

When people experience us preaching the Word without us becoming the Word, the gospel gets reduced to a mere philosophy–principles to be argued and words that can be wrangled over. But when the Word becomes flesh and dwells among them, they find themselves pierced to the heart and convicted in the depths of their very souls. It is incumbent upon us as the people of God to preach Christ wherever we go and, only if necessary, use words!