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Summary: Have we gone astray, feeding and feasting on all the empty, fleeting things this world offers? Let’s learn how to partake of Christ so our deepest hungers of our soul will be satisfied

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PARTAKING OF CHRIST

John 6:35-51

INTRODUCTION

In his latest book, Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias tells of a 1996 expedition to Mt. Everest.

His information came from the book, Into Thin Air, that chronicles the hazards that plagued the climbers.

“The expedition was a disaster and many lost their lives. Some circumstances were beyond their control but mistakes cost them dearly. One of the leaders who lost his life was Andy Harris. He had stayed at the peak past the deadline that the leaders themselves had set.On his descent, he became in dire need of oxygen. He radioed his predicament to base camp, telling them of his need for oxygen and that he had come upon a cache of oxygen canisters left by other climbers He told them that they were all empty. Those at the base camp who had already passed the canisters on their return knew that they were not empty. The problem

was that the lack of what they needed (oxygen) so disoriented his mind that he thought he was surrounded by empty canisters yet they were full.

What oxygen is to the body, the Bread of life is to the soul. Without that bread, we are disoriented. All other hungers are then improperly perceived. In fact, in like manner, the absence of that bread over a prolonged period makes the bread itself seem worthless.

Life is meant to be lived with the fulfillment of the one need that defines all other means of fulfillment and the one love that defines all other loves. That one need is the Bread of life. Jesus Christ.

TEXT

In John 6:48 Jesus said, “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.”

To understand the meaning of these words, we must see them in their context. Jesus had just fed a vast multitude of five thousand. He miraculously met their physical needs. Now He was making it clear that He could meet their deeper needs. Jesus used something material and tangible to communicate a great spiritual truth. Using this metaphor of bread, Christ is telling

us that what physical bread is to the body, He is to the soul.

As Ravi Zacharias says, “His words were intended to lift the listeners from their barren, food-dominated existence to the recognition and acknowledgment of the supreme hunger of life that can only be filled with a different bread. Food and power blind the mind to the need for nourishment and strength of soul. Unfortunately, many fail to pause here long enough to really hear what Jesus is teaching and understand the life-transforming power contained in this truth.”

We are physical, emotional and spiritual beings. As such our deepest hungers and needs cannot possibly be met by the temporal and tangible things of this life.

HUNGERS

Scores of folk today have more than enough of the material things of this life yet there is a gnawing emptiness deep within them and overwhelming feelings of

dissatisfaction and disillusionment. It can’t be otherwise as they have needs and hungers that only Christ, the Bread of life can satisfy. We all have an intrinsic hunger for meaning and purpose. Without adequate meaning, life is, as Ernest Hemingway put it, “just a dirty trick, a short journey from nothingness to nothingness.”It takes much more than money, possessions, prestige, position or power to give our lives adequate meaning and a fulfilling purpose. Even when we are not aware of it, we also hunger for forgiveness. It is one of mankind’s greatest needs.

Dr. Hobart Mowrer, a former President of the American Psychological Association said, “…unacknowledged and unexpiated guilt leads to self-hatred and a host of other problems.It severely damages our capacity to love and to be lovable.” The only adequate solution to the problem of guilt is the forgiveness that Christ offers. We have a built in need to worship

something powerful and transcendent. The things that most people today worship, things like money, possessions, people just won’t do. We need to worship Christ, the Son of God.

Dr. Malcom Muggerridge was a world famous and highly esteemed British journalist. Although he was famous, wealthy and influential, something important was missing in his life. Throughout his life he had repudiated the claims of Christ. He considered himself to smart to fall for the myths of Christianity. One day, however, he realized that he had hungers that the

things of this world could not possibly satisfy. So he humbled himself and surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. He began feeding upon the teachings of

Christ. As he feasted upon the life and words

of our Lord, wonderful changes occurred. Christ became a dynamic, vital Presence. He discovered that the

Bread of Life was able to satisfy his deepest hungers and innermost longings. What Christ did for Malcolm Muggeridge, he yearns to do for each one of us and he will if we will afford Him the opportunity.

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