Many things in this world contain extremely confusing names. Take sweetbreads for example. Bread made with an extra helping of sugar, right? Sounds delicious. You’d never think they came from the facial area or internal organs of a farm animal. In the same way, finger sandwiches are equally deceiving, but should seemingly deter the party-goers rather than entice. For a long time, I thought an occupational therapist was someone you visited if you hated your job, and that an occupational hypnotherapist was the next step and simply zapped you into thinking you liked your job.
Conversely, upon hearing the words “hogs head cheese” sounds so unreal that it couldn’t possibly be what it sounds like, but it is! (sort of) Interestingly enough, many of Jesus’ disciples felt the same way upon hearing that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood or they will have no life within them.
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?*
It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh* is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”
As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” ~John 6:60-69
Jesus makes it undeniably clear that he is the Bread of Life, nourishment to be eaten. His disciples asked for clarity and he delivered. Many couldn’t wrap their brains around it and left. The others remained with Jesus, believing his message despite its unusual direction. The Bread of Life and hog’s head cheese. They are exactly what the names suggest.
*Recipe for Hog’s Head Cheese from Real Cajun Recipes