Posts Tagged ‘Son of Man’

blood of JesusLife patterns change in the face of death. It is rare that a death would have no impact, but it’s possible in the case of a lonely soul, a homeless person. And yet, even they, once discovered, impact the finders. So, now I can’t think of an example of a death not causing some ripples in the fabric of life.

Practically everything in a will hinges on a death. That’s why blood, the evidence of death, is used so much in our tradition, especially regarding forgiveness of sins. [Hebrews 9:22 +/-, The Message]

In Judaeo-Christian traditions, death, symbolized by the shedding of blood, marked covenants and promises, as well as standing in as a symbolic gesture for the forgiveness of transgressions. Blood is a powerful conceptualization and its significance is lost on no one. We all know that without blood, the body cannot survive. Breath is good but blood is life-giving and sustaining.

And most of us understand that the death of Jesus was intended as the ultimate sacrifice, that of God’s son (or God in human form) for the sake of humanity. The death of Jesus changed his followers; the resurrection of Jesus changed the world. Jesus accepted his mission and willingly gave all that he had to give, from power to heal to direct access to God to forgiveness of sins and mistakes for eternity.

SONY DSCThe death of Jesus is a macro event. In my own life, our family has experienced what may seem like a micro event in the face of a dying deity, and yet Mike’s death has changed us all, significantly. We are all seeing more clearly what is important and what matters. When people say “don’t sweat the small stuff,” I never realized before how much small stuff is really out there. I have been majoring in non-essentials. Even my young adult children have shed much of the clutter in their lives and squeezed several years of maturing into a few months. We will never the be the same.

But really, is anyone the same after someone has sacrificed on our behalf? All are affected, the one who gives and the one who receives. Sacrifice is not easy.

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John 6:53
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…”

In chapter 6 of John, Jesus says, at least five times, “I tell you the truth…” Now, I have always been taught that anything repeated several times in scripture is important. And so, this morning, I have been meditating and dozing on this (I am trying to follow His lead here and tell the truth: meditating can be a sleepy business).

Why does Jesus keep saying this? Clearly, it’s because he suspects they don’t/won’t believe him. What he is saying is too fantastic or difficult to comprehend. He’s expecting their reaction to be, “You,re kidding, right?” No, He says, “I’m telling you the truth.”

By the end of this chapter, we are told that many of his disciples (the unnamed ones who followed him around for awhile and got a few free meals along the way), left him after this instruction. Apparently, He convinced them that he meant what he said. And, because He convinced them that He was telling the truth, they rejected his message… intentionally.

And what was the hullabaloo about? Eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Since there has never been a tradition of cannibalism in Judaism, He wasn’t talking about a barbecued ribs. But He was talking about consuming the life force of Christ. There is something to be said for cannibalism as a sacred practice. In primitive tribes, to eat someone was to become one with them. They ate the bodies to take in a person’s essence, strength, and soul.

Accepting Christ is serious business. It’s not just an idea. It’s a process. It’s breathing in. It’s consuming. It’s transforming. It’s energy. It’s eating. It’s nourishing. It’s life-sustaining.

And without Christ, we die.

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Luke 19:10
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

So often when we talk about “the lost,” Christians are referring to people who have not accepted Christ. But I think there is more. Jesus came to seek the lost parts of ourselves as well and to redeem what we have lost.

I think humankind has tremendous potential. But, by the choices we make and roads we take, much is lost. We lose our giftings. We lose our talents. We lose our ability to love. We lose our ability to hear and see God.

Reintegrate me.

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Luke 22:69-70
“…But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”

There is much written about Jesus’ references to himself as both the Son of Man and the Son of God. I find these fascinating and hope to spend more time looking into it. But for now, I would share these thoughts.

One of the best discussions on the Son of God I have recently read comes from Brian McLaren’s Generous Orthodoxy. He tells how in the Middle East, it is often said that something is the “mother of” something else… meaning it is the ultimate. An example might be the “mother of all wars” which would mean the ultimate war. Apparently, “son of” works in a similar way. And so, when Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man, the “construction suggests ‘carrying the essence of’ or ’embodying the heart of'” . In the same way, Son of God would mean “carrying the essence of God” (as in carrying the family likeness or genetic code) [pg. 72].

There is so much more that could be said, but what struck me today as I touched these verses from Luke was that Jesus was informing the Council of Elders that from that point forward, because of His suffering, death, and resurrection to come, the “essence of man” would now have a place next to God. (See Daniel 7:13-14) We inherit this place by our union with Christ Jesus.

And just as the disciples “experienced God” by being with Jesus, so can we.

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