Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays. There is very little commercialization, and instead of the focus on things that need to be bought it is a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate all we have to be thankful for. Today I am thankful for taste buds. Taste buds are completely unique cellular structures in our bodies found on the tongue, soft palate, and epiglottis. Taste buds are chemoreceptors, meaning that they change chemical signals in food into electrical signals that our brain can translate into taste.
Scientists say there are five distinct tastes: salty, sweet, bitter, sour and “savory,” each linked to a specific chemical in foods. I think reducing the complexity of the delight of tastes is like saying the Grand Canyon is a hole in the ground. Evolutionists like to claim that our taste buds evolved so our ancestors would not eat the wrong foods and kill themselves. The theory is that humans have evolved to find salty, sweet, and savory foods pleasant, while sour and bitter foods are usually unpleasant. This is because sour and bitter tastes may indicate rotten food or poison, while nutritious, high-calorie foods usually taste salty, sweet or savory. Of course we humans love bitter foods like coffee, stout beer, almonds, Brazil nuts, some varieties of vegetables, unsweetened chocolate and horseradish, just to name a few. And statistically speaking, I just don’t think that four billion years is long enough to go from one celled organism to a complex human that can enjoy food like we enjoy food.
I prefer to think of taste buds as a gift from God to give us a glimpse of heaven. First, we know that in heaven we will be given new bodies fitted for the resurrection life (I Corinthians 15). These new bodies will live forever with God, and therefore, there will be no mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4). So food is not necessary in heaven. But Jesus spoke numerous times about food in heaven, and it will be great. In fact, there will be a great banquet. (See Matthew 22:1-2, Luke 12: 35-48, Luke 14: 15-23, and Revelation 22:1-3 just to name a few).
When Jesus was spending his final hours with his disciples he told them, “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25). Clearly there will be food in heaven, and I imagine that like the fine wine Jesus made from water at the wedding in Cana it will be heavenly tasting food (John 2). Though we can eat ourselves to death on earth, I think we can assume the heavenly banquet waiting for us is all “no calorie.”
When Jesus speaks of the banquet in heaven it is to teach people that, “You don’t want to miss it.” These parables deal with the real possibility that if you don’t believe in Jesus then you won’t sit at the banquet table. One must choose to believe.
Now I know that the threat of eternal damnation is not a great motivator for faith amongst the majority of people reading this, though I believe we should indeed take this consequence seriously. But I will say this, the threat of turning this life into hell is very real for people, and the greatest way out of experiencing hell on earth is faith in Jesus Christ. Through faith in Christ you are far more likely to enjoy a great Thanksgiving, and a great life, as you give glory to God for all of His amazing bounty He showers down upon you.