Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Those that make them are like them.”
There is an old adage that says, “You are what you eat.” And that is in many ways true. The quality of what you put into your body is a key factor in the health of your body. If you put bad things into your body, you will become weaker and ill. Very bad things taken into the body can even kill.
This principle holds true in our spirits. When we worship, we are actually sharing a meal with the God we worship. Several scriptures in the New Testament refer to eating and drinking spiritually, and that was nothing new to the people who first read those scriptures. Throughout the ancient history of man, worship regularly included a meal shared by the god being worshiped, the priests of that god, and the ones bringing the offering, the worshippers. Even in the worship of the true God, as described in the Old Testament, this was the required pattern. Paul refers to this in 1Corinthians 9:13: “Do you not know that those who labor in the temple eat from the temple, and that those who tend to the altar partake of the sacrifices with the altar?” Let us always remember that, in this New Testament, Christ is “our Passover Lamb” that must be consumed if we are to escape God’s death angel, and Jesus invited all his disciples to do just that (from John 6):
Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, Moses didn’t give you that bread from heaven, but my Father is giving you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Then they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.
. . . .
Then the Jews started grumbling about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” And they kept saying, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? So, how does he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus, therefore, answered and said to them, “Don’t murmur among yourselves . . . . Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat of it and not die. I, the one who came down from heaven, am the living bread. If anyone eats of this bread, he’ll live forever. And the bread that I’ll give is my flesh, which I’ll give for the life of the world.”
Then the Jews began disputing among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Therefore, Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I’ll raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live by the Father, so also, he who eats me shall live by me. This is the bread who came down from heaven – not the way your fathers ate manna and died. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
You are what you eat. We partake of what we offer to God in worship, and what we partake of, or eat, spiritually, we ourselves become. This is the danger of worshipping God with dead ceremony. Doing so is a sure path to deadness in spirit. God must be worshipped “in spirit and in truth”, Jesus said, and if we worship as he said we must, we will partake of the life and truth of the spirit that we offer to God. Worship in God’s way makes us more alive, not less. But offering God dead things in worship can only deaden our spirits to the things of God. David saw this reality long ago and made mention of it in one of his songs:
“The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one who trusts in them” (Ps. 135:15-18).
Do not offer God dead works; He will not share that meal with you. And you will have to eat it with the dead.