I recently visited whiteblaze.net
, and was drawn to a link for resupply locations along the trail. Even minimal hiking experience teaches you the enormous number of calories a hiker can burn, and the voracious appetite one can develop. A few pounds gained over the course of the winter can evaporate under the load of a 45 pound backpack, and several weeks of hiking.
Hikers understand the absolute necessity of being adequately fed.
One of Jesus' youngest followers, perhaps little more than a teenager at the time of the events he recorded, and perhaps having a teenager's appetite, was the apostle John. In the sixth chapter of the John’s Gospel, he records an incident in which Christ feeds an enormous number of people, 5000 men alone not including women and children in the count. Then to illustrate that just as food is essential to the sustenance of physical life, Christ says He is essential if one is to have spiritual life, using bread as a metaphor for Himself.
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." John 6:51.
By saying that the bread He will give "is My flesh" is a reference to His impending sacrifice upon the cross, where He took the punishment for the sins of mankind on His own body, so that all who believe in Him could be freed from the sin that is a barrier to eternal life.
Jesus' point in the analogy throughout chapter 6 is that, just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life, so also is belief in Christ's sacrificial death on the cross necessary for eternal life. References to His flesh and blood as bread and drink metaphorically symbolize the need for accepting Jesus' work on the cross on your behalf. Bread and drink on the table do not give life or sustain it. They must be taken in. So also, the historical objective facts of Jesus' death on a cross do not give eternal life unless they are taken in. This happens when a person places their faith in Him.
Will you ask Him to come into your life and take away your sin? Will you put your trust in Him alone, not merely for physical temporary life as given by bread, but for eternal life given by Him, and His sacrifice on the cross?