“It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63)
Beloved, Jesus had just revealed a very shocking message to many of His potential followers. He had spoken to them of their need to “eat of His flesh” and “drink of His blood” (John 6:53), which (in reality) is about them identifying with Him in His SACRIFICE to also be raised with Him in His RESURRECTION, though almost none of the people there could understand any of this yet (not with their heads, anyway).
Jesus’ words were “spirit” though, and therefore they revealed the thoughts and the intents of men’s hearts. Many of Jesus’ followers left Him that day, and I have to wonder, was this simply because these people could not understand the message that Jesus preached, or might it have been that in their heart of hearts (their spirits) these who walked away that day had a sense of what the message was, but they were not willing to pay the price to RECEIVE IT.
To “receive the word” is to welcome it (into our spirits) to the extent that it becomes part of us, beloved. Though Peter (in his natural mind) more than likely had no better understanding of “eating and drinking Christ’s flesh and blood” than the others who walked away that day, he was able to RECEIVE THE WORD into his heart and it there became LIFE. I think that this is plainly shown to us in Peter’s response to Jesus’ next statement. Jesus said to His disciples, “You do not want to go away also do you?” Peter then said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67- 69)
Peter WAS eating of Christ’s flesh and WAS drinking of His blood THAT DAY, beloved. He was partaking then of SPIRIT AND OF LIFE. Are you doing this too in this day? Are you too EATING AND DRINKING of the mystical BODY AND BLOOD of the sacrificed Christ? It is THIS KIND OF COMMUNION WITH HIM through identification with Him in His sufferings that conforms us to His death, beloved. This is what causes our sinful flesh to DIE and to decompose. We “die daily” by FEEDING DAILY upon the body and the blood of the Crucified Christ. This is surely NOT about juice and crackers – not even close. I’m quite sure that there are many people who are partaking of thatM kind of “communion” today who have also “walked away,” these not yet able to RECEIVE INTO THEIR HEARTS the “spirit and life” of the eating and drinking of the the body and the blood of Christ.