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John 6:53

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man - Unless ye be made partakers of the blessings about to be purchased by my blood, passion, and violent death, ye cannot be saved. As a man must eat bread and flesh, in order to be nourished by them, so a man must receive the grace and Spirit of Christ, in order to his salvation. As food in a rich man's store does not nourish the poor man that needs it, unless it be given him, and he receive it into his stomach, so the whole fountain of mercy existing in the bosom of God, and uncommunicated, does not save a soul: he who is saved by it must be made a partaker of it. Our Lord's meaning appears to be, that, unless they were made partakers of the grace of that atonement which he was about to make by his death, they could not possibly be saved. Bishop Pearce justly observes that the ideas of eating and drinking are here borrowed to express partaking of, and sharing in. Thus spiritual happiness on earth, and even in heaven, is expressed by eating and drinking; instances of which may be seen, Matthew 8:11; Matthew 26:29; Luke 14:15; Luke 22:30; and Revelation 2:17. Those who were made partakers of the Holy Spirit are said by St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 12:13, to be made to drink into (or of) one Spirit. This, indeed, was a very common mode of expression among the Jews.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 53-55

In these verses Jesus repeats what he had in substance said before.

Except ye eat the flesh … - He did not mean that this should be understood literally, for it was never done, and it is absurd to suppose that it was intended to be so understood. Nothing can possibly be more absurd than to suppose that when he instituted the Supper, and gave the bread and wine to his disciples, they literally ate his flesh and drank his blood. Who can believe this? There he stood, a living man - his body yet alive, his blood flowing in his veins; and how can it be believed that this body was eaten and this blood drunk? Yet this absurdity must be held by those who hold that the bread and wine at the communion are “changed into the body, blood, and divinity of our Lord.” So it is taught in the decrees of the Council of Trent; and to such absurdities are men driven when they depart from the simple meaning of the Scriptures and from common sense. It may be added that if the bread and wine used in the Lord‘s Supper were not changed into his literal body and blood when it was first instituted, they have never been since.

The Lord Jesus would institute it just as he meant it should be observed, and there is nothing now in that ordinance which there was not when the Saviour first appointed it. His body was offered on the cross, and was raised up from the dead and received into heaven. Besides, there is no evidence that he had any reference in this passage to the Lord‘s Supper. That was not yet instituted, and in that there was no literal eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood. The plain meaning of the passage is, that by his bloody death - his body and his blood offered in sacrifice for sin - he would procure pardon and life for man; that they who partook of that, or had an interest in that, should obtain eternal life. He uses the figure of eating and drinking because that was the subject of discourse; because the Jews prided themselves much on the fact that their fathers had eaten manna; and because, as he had said that he was the bread of life, it was natural and easy, especially in the language which he used, to carry out the figure, and say that bread must be eaten in order to be of any avail in supporting and saving men. To eat and to drink, among the Jews, was also expressive of sharing in or partaking of the privileges of friendship. The happiness of heaven and all spiritual blessings are often represented under this image, Matthew 8:11; Matthew 26:29; Luke 14:15, etc.

John 6:55

Is meat indeed - Is truly food. My doctrine is truly that which will give life to the soul.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The flesh and blood of the Son of man, denote the Redeemer in the nature of man; Christ and him crucified, and the redemption wrought out by him, with all the precious benefits of redemption; pardon of sin, acceptance with God, the way to the throne of grace, the promises of the covenant, and eternal life. These are called the flesh and blood of Christ, because they are purchased by the breaking his body, and the shedding of his blood. Also, because they are meat and drink to our souls. Eating this flesh and drinking this blood mean believing in Christ. We partake of Christ and his benefits by faith. The soul that rightly knows its state and wants, finds whatever can calm the conscience, and promote true holiness, in the redeemer, God manifest in the flesh. Meditating upon the cross of Christ gives life to our repentance, love, and gratitude. We live by him, as our bodies live by our food. We live by him, as the members by the head, the branches by the root: because he lives we shall live also.
Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 22.1

Man broke God's law, and through the Redeemer new and fresh promises were made on a different basis. All blessings must come through a Mediator. Now every member of the human family is given wholly into the hands of Christ, and whatever we possess—whether it is the gift of money, of houses, of lands, of reasoning powers, of physical strength, of intellectual talents—in this present life, and the blessings of the future life, are placed in our possession as God's treasures to be faithfully expended for the benefit of man. Every gift is stamped with the cross and bears the image and superscription of Jesus Christ. All things come of God. From the smallest benefits up to the largest blessing, all flow through the one Channel—a superhuman mediation sprinkled with the blood that is of value beyond estimate because it was the life of God in His Son. FW 22.1

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 370-1

These things God has been opening before me for many years. In our medical schools and institutions we need men who have a deeper knowledge of the Scriptures, men who have learned the lessons taught in the word of God, and who can teach these lessons to others, clearly and simply, just as Christ taught His disciples the knowledge that He deemed most essential. CH 370.1

If our medical missionary workers would follow the Great Physician's prescription for obtaining rest, a healing current of peace would flow through their souls. Here is the prescription: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. CH 370.2

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 277-8

The Passover was to be both commemorative and typical, not only pointing back to the deliverance from Egypt, but forward to the greater deliverance which Christ was to accomplish in freeing His people from the bondage of sin. The sacrificial lamb represents “the Lamb of God,” in whom is our only hope of salvation. Says the apostle, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5:7. It was not enough that the paschal lamb be slain; its blood must be sprinkled upon the doorposts; so the merits of Christ's blood must be applied to the soul. We must believe, not only that He died for the world, but that He died for us individually. We must appropriate to ourselves the virtue of the atoning sacrifice. PP 277.1

The hyssop used in sprinkling the blood was the symbol of purification, being thus employed in the cleansing of the leper and of those defiled by contact with the dead. In the psalmist's prayer also its significance is seen: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7. PP 277.2

The lamb was to be prepared whole, not a bone of it being broken: so not a bone was to be broken of the Lamb of God, who was to die for us. John 19:36. Thus was also represented the completeness of Christ's sacrifice. PP 277.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 193

Christ and His word are in perfect harmony. Received and obeyed, they open a sure path for the feet of all who are willing to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. If the people of God would appreciate His word, we should have a heaven in the church here below. Christians would be eager, hungry, to search the word. They would be anxious for time to compare scripture with scripture and to meditate upon the word. They would be more eager for the light of the word than for the morning paper, magazines, or novels. Their greatest desire would be to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. And as a result their lives would be conformed to the principles and promises of the word. Its instruction would be to them as the leaves of the tree of life. It would be in them a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. Refreshing showers of grace would refresh and revive the soul, causing them to forget all toil and weariness. They would be strengthened and encouraged by the words of inspiration. 8T 193.1

Ministers would be inspired with divine faith. Their prayers would be characterized by earnestness, filled with the divine assurance of truth. Weariness would be forgotten in the sunlight of heaven. Truth would be interwoven with their lives, and its heavenly principles would be as a fresh, running stream, constantly satisfying the soul. 8T 193.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 116

Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men. TM 116.1

We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God's people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth.... TM 116.2

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