Ryan Paulson | 04 November 2019
I grew up in Denver Bronco football country and I proudly wear the blue and orange. My loyalty is unwavering partially because I was a Colorado resident during all three of their Superbowl victories. I can remember the party we threw for the 2015 Superbowl like it was yesterday. My friends and I planned for two weeks. We invited guests. We set out to make amazing foods and great drinks. We wanted it to be a great party – and it was!
It’s interesting that when Jesus tells parables about the present and future kingdom of God, he often describes it as a feast. One with great food, music, and dancing (see Matthew 22:2). Imagine that heaven is one eternal celebration of life and that God is at the center as the great host. God is the one preparing the food, inviting guests, putting out the décor, and anticipating that his guests will have a great time.
Here’s the gospel plot twist that few saw coming: Jesus isn’t just the host; he is also the feast. It sounds akin to a turkey hosting Thanksgiving dinner. God is the party planner and he is also what’s on the menu. In what many have argued is one of the most offensive and misunderstood statements Jesus made, he called people to “eat his flesh and drink his blood.” (John 6:56) The people who had been following him walked away in disgust and confusion. It was fine for God to be the host, but they didn’t have a category for him to also be the main course.
Maybe the original story isn’t all that far off. The only difference would have been if I’d be invited to go to a Superbowl party hosted by the Broncos themselves. A party where they bought all the food and prepared the whole party, where we got to go for free, and where we then got to feast not only on their food, but on their victory! They would then be both the host and the feast – just like Jesus.
On the other side of the cross we recognize that through Jesus’ death and resurrection we are invited to find our life in God and to feast on his sacrifice. However, we can’t just admire him from a distance or add him as an accessory to our already nicely organized life. Jesus demands that we ingest him, that he permeates our whole being, and that his life becomes so intertwined with ours that we exhibit his aroma wherever we go. Today, pause and make on intentional step toward feasting on Jesus.