John 6:48 “I am the bread of life”
John 6:51 “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.”
When Jesus made this statement he was talking to a group of Jews who fully understand the place of manna in their history. It had given life when they really needed it. But I think the first thing that came to mind were the laws of clean and unclean foods. The laws were one of the central elements in daily Jewish life. Jews who faithfully obeyed the laws would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid anything unclean. The thought of eating something unclean was repulsive. What Jesus was advocating was cannibalism. Because they could not understand, since the Holy Spirit had not been given, most of them would find this statement unacceptable in the strongest terms.
For Christians we understand that just as the manna gave life to Israel in the desert, this bread will give us eternal life. The thought for the Jews that could not be acceptable is for us the most precious of promises.