All I Got For Christmas was The Gospel Truth
Posted on December 31, 2019 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” John 6:53 (NKJV)
I bet the last verse you’d see during this season was the aforementioned one I have used for today’s Freedom Fighter but there is a point to this. Last time I went through how the nation of Israel basically rejected YHVH’s gift of a Promised Land and what YHVH decided to do to them for about forty years because they refused to receive it. This week, I would like to take a look at one of the hardest sayings Jesus made to those who were following Him because of the miracles He performed.
It’s Passover and “Jesus lifted up His eyes and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” (John 6:5) Now if I’m Philip my first response is “What? Dude, even if we worked for months, we ain’t gonna have enough money to feed’em!” (John 6:7 paraphrased) Now as John gives his account of this moment in Biblical history, we’ll be introduced to the first of the seven “I Am’s” that Jesus will proclaim. It’ll be the day after the miracle of the two fishes and five loaves and folks will chase Jesus down. He’ll tell them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” (John 6:26)
As the conversation continued, Jesus explains the manna in the wilderness and, “Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” (John 6:34) Well, they asked for it and the more Jesus discusses the reason why He was sent the grumbling like in the wilderness, began to get louder. “Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.” (John 6:43) Now just like the nation of Israel at the time of spying out the land, it’s time to cross a threshold. For them, it’s going in to receive the Promised Land, for these folks, well-fed after the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, it’s taking in what will give them a promised life…but this too will be rejected.
“I am the bread of life.” (John 6:48) This wasn’t something people were prepared to hear. Jesus will remind them that, “the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you” (Exodus 16:4a) and that in the same way, He is “the bread that came down out of heaven”(John 6:41b), but they can’t get their heads around it. Then when Jesus says, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (John 6:56), folks just do a complete about-face, declare this a hard teaching and head off back into their own personal little wilderness’s, so that they may wander around just as aimlessly as their forefathers before them.
So, what’s this gotta do with wanting or getting the Gospel Truth for Christmas? Everything!! Every so often we forget that humankind took a fall in The Garden, a place lush and plush, and that resulted in the dung heap we’ve got today. In St. Jerome’s Christmas sermon titled, “The Nativity of Christ”, Jerome will say this of Jesus Christ, “He is not born in the midst of gold and riches, but in the midst of dung, in a stable (wherever there is a stable, there is also dung) where our sins were more filthy than the dung. He is born on a dunghill in order to lift up those who come from it; “from a dunghill He lifts up the poor.” (Psalm 113:7) Basically Jerome says this, Jesus was born on a dunghill because that’s where He knew He’d find us.
A Savior was promised long ago and to this day the general call to come back into communion with El Elyon goes forward. It’s also about reconciliation. Even in that famous movie “Christmas Vacation”, Clark Griswold will say, “Christmas is about resolving differences and seeing through the petty problems of family life.” Well in the family of God we’ve gotta dunghill full of pettiness and in that, we’ll need the Gospel to set us free so we can enjoy other promises as well.
The promise to part of a new heaven, new earth and to be co-heirs with Christ to share in His inheritance. All we need to do is to step into the Promised Land, partake of the Bread of Life and being that living sacrifice that the Cross of Christ calls us to be. Peter was so right to say, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) May we and Secularland be able to cross that threshold and not turn back into the wilderness. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “The birth of Jesus is an invitation to finally have your spiritual belly filled with the most beautiful, hunger-satiating food ever.” — Paul David Tripp
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.