updated February 2011 from August 11, 2010
1Corinthians10,16 (KJ): "The cup of blessing which we bless is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?"
Communion not with his physical pre Calvary body, but with his risen body, yes the fellowship or partnership (companarismo) of faith, the experience of God- who is Spirit- that comes with setting apart and blessing bread and wine and partaking in faith, in His Holy name.
More than a symbol [the bible never says it's a symbol], or a memorial.
1John1,3 (KJ) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye may also have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
This Spiritual fellowship is the whole point of Jesus coming in the flesh.
The Lord's Supper is a Spiritual Sacrifice
1Peter2,5: "Ye also as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
Many Fruits from Reformation But Lord's Supper Has Withered
I've been contemplating the fruits and unfruits of the 13th-16th century Protestant Reformation as spurred on by John the Baptist's exhortation to the corrupt religious power class of his day: "bear fruit worthy of reformation" (Matthew 3,8, Young's Literal Translation). Both John and Jesus were reformer-prophets and paid the price for it.
While the fruits surely outweigh the unfruits, five hundred years later many have unbiblically reduced the Lord's Supper to either a few hurried and awkward moments holding a cracker and a grape juice at the end of a service running long, or have dismissed the whole thing outright as "too Roman."
Amidst the Reformation's return to the bible, and the polemics of the great church divorce, the Vatican State Church dogmatized (at the Council of Trent in 1551) that the supper elements re-present the actual pre-resurrection body and blood of Jesus.
Say what? Calvary repeated?
Hebrews 9,24: "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many..."
And Hebrews 10,12 "He on the other hand has offered one single [physical] sacrifice for sins, and then has taken his seat for ever, at the right hand of God..."
After his physical flesh was already consumed?
Status Quo Not So Great
So began 500 years of polarizations leading up to the present day status quo regarding the Lord's Supper:
1. dogmatic over physicality and mass production;
2. Vatican lite, half the dogmas, almost all the liturgy;
3. hurried "symbolic" acts, sometimes done, because we were told to;
4. why bother?
But what do I know? Perhaps I'm off base, and the celebration of Lord's supper, or not, is all good in your neck of the woods.
Where are the Folks Today Who Want To Know Jesus In The Breaking Of The Bread?
And yet I hear Jesus gently thumping His bible: "where are the folks today who still want to know me in the breaking of the bread?" Luke 24,15-31 And when God asks questions, as John Bevere wisely notes, He is not looking for snap answers.
"Where are folks who will let go of reasoning like Adam and Eve who disobediently ate of the tree of good and evil (God's tree), who will humbly obey God's direction to eat of the tree of Calvary (also God's tree)? Who want to do justice to the bible and the Spirit regarding the Supper?"
The two Jerusalem disciples, about to set out to Emmaus, were reasoning with their own minds and so were discouraged and sad about Jesus' death when the risen Jesus appeared to them (vv15-17). He spent the day with them and taught them His prophesied redemption from the word. At the end of the day, in the breaking of the bread, they knew him and were not sad anymore:
vv. 30c-31: "He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight."
They knew Him as the one whose blood purchased their freedom out of the state of sin, and so made them able to live in the state of grace that comes by way of faith.
The Sacrificial Context of 1Corinthians 10-12 and John 6
What do we Christians make of 1Corinthians 10,3-4 whereby Paul speaks of Israel in the desert eating "spiritual drink" and "spiritual food" and then goes on to distinguish between idolatrous and true sacrifices (v.14ff) based on which "altar" the Corinthians frequent (v.18).
His first point here is stark- we either share the cup of demons or the cup of Christ based on which altar we esteem.
This unmistakably sacrificial (Spiritually sacrificial) language explains the seriousness of Paul's ultimate point which is to correct the Corinthians regarding their reduction of the Lord's supper to a selfish and cursory recall of the cross, after a tipsy agape (the covered dish thing at that time) meal that often runs out of food before some folks got there.
We all can agree that the Lord's supper is more than this. Paul subtly reminds them they are communally and publicly celebrating a new Passover as one people (a reform akin to the reform of King Josiah 2kings23,22). Thus there can be no divisions (v.18), no selfish impatience to eat the meal part before others arrrive, as if they were eating at home, or failure to discern with opened eyes Christ's body on Calvary, and Christ's body, the congregation (v.29), and no disrespect for any of the gifts of the Spirit given to the one body for the common good of the one body (chapter 12).
And Paul's adds to the seriousness of his extensive correction by also using sacrificial terms. 11,25c:
"This cup is the New Covenant in My blood; as often as you drink [a sacrificial act confirming the new covenant], do this in rememberance of me."
Any covenant, like the one with Abraham (Genesis 15,9,17), requires a new faith sacrifice, that both parties ratify. Abraham was to walk between the cut-in-two animals of the sacrifice just as God's Spirit went through it in a blaze of glory. Apparently Abraham's walk through the sacrifice left him so wiped out by all the revelation that he fell into a deep sleep (v12)!
We likewise by faith ratify Christ's new covenant of redemption by faith when we celebrate the Lord's supper with faith that looks back to Calvary, but also with eyes ready to see more and learn more about Jesus then and there at the supper.
And yet the Corinthians are partaking as if the cross was just another profane altar. This risks the very life of certain unfaithful folks! "That is why many of you are weak and ill and a good number have died." 1Corinthians 11,30.
Would people be more likely staying or getting sick, and even dying, by partaking mere symbols faithlessly, or from partaking of real food and drink faithlessly?
John 6: Bread of Life Discourse Refers to Blood Too
Having dipped a toe into the solemn sacrifical waters of 1Cor.10-11, which even speak of altars (10,18), now we can perhaps make better sense of the division caused by Jesus' hard and prophetic sayings within "the bread of life" discourse. This discourse amplifies and gives full signifignance to Jesus' Last Supper dialogue in which Jesus commands that the supper be celebrated in his memory, and repeats it in a new way as we shall see.
Remember John is writing this several decades after Jesus has died and risen, after he and the community to which he belonged has solemnly partaken of the Lord's supper for many- perhaps five- decades. As he composes, he likely remembered Jesus' words (that he might not have fully understood when Jesus first said them pre Calvary), and also heard them anew post resurrection, and is now writing them down in faith amidst the context of the yearly Passover happening right then and there in Israel (v. 3).
Please note well also that John has joined Jesus' miracle of the loaves (which is recorded by every other gospel without any referance to the Lord's Supper, or "blood") to the immediate context of the yearly Passover sacrifice, and to Jesus' Lord's supper command that is explicit in the three other gospels.
But here- in this deeper meaning gospel- we could say this supper is radically implicit, unmistakeably there, as soon as John inserts Jesus' words about drinking his blood.
One cannot escape the Lord's supper context of John 6 as soon we reflect on "drink his blood" in that physcially drinking blood was always prohibited to Jesus' people as cited below.
The meat of the long and dense discourse is this. Jesus is bread of life (v34b), that comes down from heaven (33b), similar to the physical manna in the desert (31b), but better because it's not just physical (v49), because unlike Jews in the desert, whoever eats the Lord's supper will live forever (51b).
God Promises That His Actual Holy Spirit Presence Would Live In Us
V53b-56c represents the heart of the confusion many of Jesus' disciples had in accepting the Spiritual importance of the Lord's supper:
"In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you [Spiritual life]. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person."
We can understand the confusion that some of Jesus post resurrection Jewish followers had.
Firstly, any pre resurrection talk of a new covenant sacrifice and eating his "flesh" and drinking his "blood" after he sacrificially dies (!) is unthinkable, a sacrifice hidden, at that point anyway, in four difficult passges from Isaiah and briefly elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures.
Secondly, for the unspiritual this physicalistic talk smacks of cannabilism and the prohibition of drinking the blood of living creatures per Genesis 9,4 and Leviticus 17,10: "And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people."
Thirdly, we know His disciples led by Peter, refused to even listen about his sacrificial death (Matthew 16,22-23), and fled in the total confusion of Calvary. So if the ones who had spent the most time listening to Jesus' cross revelations prior to his death had difficulty understanding that, why are we surprised that a small faction of others- post resurrection- had difficulty understanding the Spiritual sacrificial point of the Lord's Supper after he rose?
It's fair to surmise that only with time and faith and more revelation post resurrection could John begin to remember and receive all that Jesus said and did and meant by such prophetic acts as feeding the multitudes, and how such acts fit into what Jesus taught-both pre and post resurrection- about the new and final passover that the supper depicts.
In fact, because of the unmistakeable Lord's supper language here, and since Jesus was only doing a bread miracle in feeding the five thousand, not a profane (!) blood miracle, it is clear that this exiting faction is a post resurrectional problem of the early church, some of which is apparently stuck on an overly physical understanding of Jesus' words as they relate to the Lord's supper.
All this severe talk of drinking "my blood" and eating "my flesh" and Jesus living in them is still too physicalistic for them, understandably so, for the entire original church save for Luke were observant Jews, and this exiting faction, post resurrection, was simply not mature and faithful enough to understand such language in its Spiritual sense.
This new concept of Jesus living in them Spirtually even post resurrection was just too vague for them (perhaps they weren't baptized in the Holy Ghost yet) and seems intolerably connected to physically eating his pre Calvary flesh and physically drinking his pre Calvary blood at the supper (despite Jeremiah 31,31-34 about God Spiritually writing his law in their hearts). Yet John is here describing the Lord's supper in just this radical way (think baptism in the Spirit, God living in us), to challenge his reader-hearers, and us today, to figure out what we believe about the Lord's Supper.
The dense with meaning terms John uses- especially "flesh" and "blood" still sound very and too physicalistic to us today, so much so that a large percentage of modern Christians ( 40-60%?), just like the faction departing John's community, want no part of celebrating it at all, if it means we must attach any Spiritual and sacrificial solemnity that goes beyond symbols.
Acts 19: Similar Confusion About God Living Inside Us At Ephesus
Acts 19,1-7 is helpful here in explaining why the departing faction in John's gospel stumbled over the physicalistic language of the Lord's Supper. A group of devout Jewish Christians in Ephesus didn't know anything about God living inside them, about baptism in the Spirit. They had to be taken by the hand and walked through that concept by the Apostle Paul.
Likewise the departing faction here in John 6 (v. 66) left before they could be walked through the dense and physicalistic language describing the Spiritual realities depicted in the Lord's Supper.
They could not understand how physical seeming bread actually could be Jesus' "flesh," "real food", and wine could be made "real drink" because they had not yet experienced the definite and memorable experience of God's Spirit living in them, a blessing that this bread of life discourse also assumes.
So What's in the Bread and Wine after it is purposely blessed?
John 1,1 "In the begining was the word and the Word was with God and the word was God."
So, based on the above verse, is the word a physical or Spiritual thing?
It's a Spiritual thing.
John 1,14 is also helpful here: "and the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." So a Spiritual substance if we could be so bold, got into Mary, and that, with help from Mary, became flesh.
So what got into Mary?
This same Spiritual substance of God got into Mary, and she prophesied.
When we get God into us, we start to see more and hear more and more, and speak up more, and know what's going on the spirit realm around us and in us and what we are eating and drinking too.
Please stay with me.
After Jesus died, he lost his human fleshiness, became again a Spiritual substance, the same bread of life that had come down, and rose in a Spiritualized risen body, more real than a real physical body, and more real than physical food and drink.
Both before and after he rose, He promised to send another Spiritual substance down and into all of us (Acts 1,4; Acts 23,8ff), another advocate (John 14,6).
What gets into us "Pentecostals"?
What got into the church at it's birth?
A Spirtual substance, hovering over our heads like tongues of fire (Acts 2,3), enters us and makes us temples of the Holy Ghost (1Cor.6,19). Baptized not from the outside with physical water, but later by a Spirtual substance entering us, making us springs of living water (John 7,38).
Or, put it this way- the burning bush gets into us.
So in Mary's conception, at Pentecost, in the burning bush, in the Lord's supper- we're not talking about unblessed, unsanctified symbols (1Cor.10,16), but a real substance, no less a substance because it's Spiritual.
What got into the waterlogged sacrificial pyres of Elijah overcoming Baal? (1Kings 17-19)
Ordinary physical fire is no match for watered down sacrifices. No, a Spiritual substance beyond fire got into Elijah's pyre, and it burned, but Baal's sacrifice is still all wet.
What was in the Jerusalem Temple that exited due to idolatry there (Ezekiel 9-11)?
A Spiritual substance.
If God can get into all these various things, some of them very physical, why can't He get into some bread and wine, so as to make real food and real drink (or juice) at the supper that he mandated us to celebrate?
Admittedly, this John 6 language is very physicalistic, purposefully physcalistic, but it's describing a more than physical reality, a higher and deeper Spiritual reality. This is nothing more than the aforementioned John 6,53c:
"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person."
Moreover, if we are bold enough to take a fresh, Lord's Supper view of 1Corinthians12,13, we see Paul ongoing unity argument and the same new covenant purpose and miracle- Him living in us- culminating in these same Lord's supper terms which is the rightful, unified, dignified, important, and arguably frequent, celebration of the Lord's Supper:
"For by one spirit were were all baptized into one body- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free- and all have been made to drink into one Spirit."
Drinking in this one Spirit at the Lord's Supper describes exactly what the scriptures say- by faith- we drink in the one Spirit, not Christ's long gone physical blood.
John's Lord's Supper Fits Our Status as Temples of Holy Ghost
In fact, the Spiritual realities of Lord's supper tacitly recommends and assumes that we all can become,and are, Temples of the Holy Ghost, by Baptism in the Spirit, fitting places for God to live, eating and drinking accordingly, not just vessels upon whom God imputes himself, not just a physical body that needs crackers and grape juice, but actual temples of the Holy Ghost that need the very presence of God himself.
Consider in a similar context that the foreigners in the clan of Israel exiting Egyptian slavery were required to have been circumcized before they could partake of the passover-liberation-sacrifice-meal (Exodus 12,44-48).
So perhaps the controversy of the exiting faction stumbling over the over physicality of the body and blood of the Lord's Supper began simply because the Elders in that particular community assessed that said stumblers were not baptized in the Spirit, like the uncircumcized of old, or refused to seek its fullness, and for that reason were unfit and to interpret spiritual things spiritually:
v12 Now we have recieved, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God [SELAH AND AMEN]. v13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth [actual pre-resurrection blood], but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.v14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishnes unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.v15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.v16 For who hath known the the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1Cor.2,12-16
Yes and so be it- as Temples of the Holy Ghost we are thereby ready to actually represent God as "a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices [of which the Lord's Supper is the first] made acceptable to God." (1Peter2,5)
Physical sacrifices are no longer acceptable to God. But God, as the risen lamb, feeding us from heaven is in perfect accord with scripture (cf Revelation 7,17).
Revelation From God Is Often Way More Than Physical or Symbolic
Remember the most famous verse (Matthew 19,15) about marriage, "the two become one flesh?" This is unforgettable physical language, and "flesh" here also describes a spiritual reality that goes beyond the physical.
So in regard to the Lord's Supper, on the one hand aren't we limiting the transformative power of it, if we mysteriously go back to the physical pre-resurrection sacrifice of Calvary (a physical sacrifice conveniently begging for an unbiblical, ordained, and newly vested priesthood)?
Likewise, on the other hand, are we not limiting the power of the Spiritual sacrificial reality of this supper when we reduce the body and blood to mere symbols?
Why merely accept a symbolic memorial, when we have all that and more in a Holy Spiritual sacrifice?
The Spirit of God in the blessed and set apart bread and wine is not actually physical at all, nor does it render the elements merely symbolic.
The manna in the desert was not a mere symbol, it was real food, living bread, spiritual food from heaven (1Corinthians 10,4).
The water that flowed from the struck rock was not a symbol, it was real drink (1Corinthians 10,4), from Christ's body.
The real union of a man and a woman becoming one flesh (Matthew 19,5) is not just physical or symbolic, it is a literal (actual), spiritual fact that goes beyond the symbolic and physical and enters into the spirit realm.
The bible is full of literal Spiritual truths that go beyond what we physically see, touch and taste.
In Lord's Supper We Do What Jesus Did The Way He Did it
If the bread and wine went unblessed they would be mere symbols of Calvary, but as soon we bless them in thanksgiving, set them apart, as soon as we admit the sacrificial passover-Lord's Supper context of John 6 and 1Corinthians10-11, and do the supper exactly the way Jesus did, there is only one direction to point them- to and upward from the sacrificial cross of Calvary from which they derive all their signifignance.
Thus, when we bless them we are asking the Spiritual substance of God to come into them, and thus something more real than ordinary symbolic real is going on.
We walk by faith, another Spirtual substance. All that we hope for, yet have no evidence of yet (Hebrews 11,1).
So we partake of the Lord's supper not by what we physically see or physically imagine, but by what God reveals to us, and by his Spirit living in us, according to the real food and real drink language of the Lord's Supper, a state of faith maturity whereby we cry out "Abba Father (cf Galatians 4,6, Romans 8,14-15) you have fed me, and I know you, and I still want more. And I know you live in me."
John's Gospel Is All About Such Deeper Spiritual Realities
Can you stand still more regarding how wildly physical language from the Gospel of John is used to reveal higher Spiritual truths.
For example, John 19,33-34:
"When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so instead of breaking his legs, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediatly out flowed blood and water."
This is not just a factual or natural occurrence for John. It is a miraculous biblical truth that calls us to partake of the still flowing Spiritual "Blood" of the Lord's Supper (clearly echoing 1Corinthians 12,13) and still flowing "water" of baptism.
Perhaps now we can better understand why the exiting faction (v. 66) stumbled on the seeming physicality of the Lord's supper, why we don't have to go back and offer Jesus' pre-Calvary body, and why so many Christians today avoid the Lord's Supper at all costs.
John 6,63 clears up any confusion:
"It is the spirit that gives life, the [physical] flesh has nothing to offer. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."
The words of John 6, 1Corinthians 10-11 go well beyond depictions of physical realities. They go beyond the bread and wine you see, and point to Spiritual realities that some, then and now, do not have the faith to deal with.
How Long Do We Have to Partake of Blessed Elements of the Lord's Supper?
We reliably believe that from the earliest days of the Roman church the body element was brought to the sick, before sundown, rightly discerning the needs of the body (1Corinthians 11,29, cf John Hardon, "The History of the Eucharistic Adoration Development of Doctrine in the Catholic Church" ewtn.com, c.1996).
The blood element could spill, so apparently the wine, for this reason, was always consumed right at the supper itself.
Inevitably the issue of reserving the blessed bread arose. One Catholic Encyclopaedia (newadvent.org "Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament") refers to a credible scenario whereby Cyril of Alexandria in the fifth century, not until then, taught against two Jewish monks at Mount Cadamon on the western shore of the Jordan who apparently were more devoted to the principles of Hebrew sacrifice than non Jewish Christian monks outside of Israel, who had begun to practice reservation beyond one day (evidence for Christian monks at Calamon dates to the 4th century, "Ascetic Bahavior in Greco Roman Antiquity" Vincent Wimbush, Augsburg, Minneapolis, 1990, p.438).
But it's also hard to ignore that Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, upon taking the office in 412AD, drove the Jews out, after they had lived there peacefully for 700 years.
As to the time frame within which the bread could be saved without consumption, the Hebrew-Christian monks still living in Israel answered only to the next morning.
These monks knew their Hebrew scriptures, which say:
the manna, real food, real supernatural food, was to be consumed by the next morning or it either melted away or began to stink and get wormy (Exodus 16,18-21, save for the 6th day when a double portion for the sabbath was provided);
the Passover lamb of each Israelite clan had to completely eaten or consumed by fire by the next morning (Exodus 12,10);
every holocaust had to be completely consumed by fire on the spot, all at once, de una vez (Leviticus 9,24).
Jesus' Pre Resurrected Physical Body No Longer Exists
Similarly, Jesus died, saying "it is finished", once and for all. Lifted up, once and for all. His living and then crucified dead physical human body no longer exists, and therefore can no longer be sacrificed.
John 12,32: "If I am lifted up I will draw all men to myself." Humanity is drawn to him because we have faith to lift him up, to present him as the Lord of the universe who by rising conquered sin and death for us.
Only his resurrected body is lifted up at the the Lord's supper-- no other body exists.
Delivering the bread to the sick in Rome before sundown, became reserving the bread for the same reason in churches and monasteries by 325AD (Hardon, as cited), which became eucharistic adoration in the middle ages, which became Trent's physcalizing dogma (1551) in over reaction to the Reformers, which became today's counter reformational mass production.
Despite this well intentioned and understandable progression regarding the present over physicality of the Lord's Supper, we are all still faced with the stark choice of adhering more closely to the biblical principles of Jewish cultic law which clearly spill over into the Book of Hebrews, or to the progressive accumulations of Roman Tradition.
On balance biblical precepts must guide us.
Those Jewish-Christian Monks were right, by sun up the next day. One day is the time that God is living in the bread, within the Spiritually sacrificial-supernatural-faith "moment" of God providing real food and real drink, just as he provided suffcient living manna to the Israelites in the desert for one day.
The folks in the desert had to go our looking in faith for real food every day, not storing it up.
Interestingly, Jesus spent the whole day with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, not till the next morn, perhaps cutting short his visit, because their eyes had already been opened by faithfully partaking, and Jesus all at once dissapeared, on to his next transformative encounter.
Yet it must be said that whatever the excess physicality of Vatican teaching regarding the Lord's Supper, all of us Christians would do well to wrestle anew with the unmistakeable sacrificial and practical and Spiritual import of John 6 and 1Corinthians 10 and 11 and Mark 14, all of which describe Jesus' command to communally celebrate his death and resurrection with bread and wine.
Jesus would not have commanded us to do something that wasn't very important.
Jesus Living In Us Is the Implicit Promise of Lord's Supper
Not until the blood of Calvary went up, did the Spirit come down and into us (Hebrews 10,15). Blood and all the physicalistic terms of the Last Supper in all the gospels are all attempts to describe God's new and better ministry of the Spirit coming down and into us. God doesn't interact with us through physical sacrifices anymore, by physical blood and flesh, but by his Spirit that comes by His grace and in response to our ongoing acts of daily faith.
He, up there in heaven, now is the great High Priest with a better altar (Hebrews 13,10) with a better ministry (Hebrews 8,6), a ministry of the Spirit, of God putting himself to live inside us, here on earth, first as a seed (by initial faith- 1Peter1,23 and 1John 1,39- but seeds can and do die), and further by baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 8,10b-11 puts it this way:
"I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: And I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not Teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying know the Lord: For all shall know me from the Least to the Greatest." (from Jeremiah 31.31-34)
Faithful and biblical participation in the Lord's supper is a major faith gateway for knowing and having Him live inside each of us by baptism in the Spirit (John 6,53c). Yes, Jesus, the hope of glory, wants to live inside us. This is to really know him, as depicted in partaking of his "real food" and "real drink."
This baptism in the Spirit does not happen by merely digesting the physical elements of bread and wine (or juice) at the Lord's Supper (again this is too physicalistic). It happens by the memorable and distinct faith event of Holy Ghost Baptism which is promised to every believer at Acts 2,39, a baptism that this entire John 6 discourse assumes and Jessus' promising words perfectly describe (especially v53c, and 63), that 1Corinthians 10-12 assume (Corinth was profaning their own Temples of the Holy Ghost) and which befits the sacrificial Spiritual solemnity of Jesus mandate to celebrate it.
In this sense the mandated celebration of the Lord's Supper by the Priesthood of all the holy faithful is perhaps the best example of the biblical mandate to offer Spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God (1Peter 2,5).
It's also a Spiritual faith sacrifice that further opens our eyes to Jesus, and also helps explain Paul's solemn charge to all of us at Romans 12,1: "offer your bodies as a living [ie. Spiritual] sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable [priestly] service."
In the Lord's Supper, if God chooses to accept our Spiritual sacrifice and bless the bread and wine, and make his risen presence occupy them, we are enjoying real food and drink, taking in the holiest of Spiritual "flesh", and the holiest of Spiritual "drink."
All this happens by our faith, and by faithing this way, we realize that God wants to and can live inside us, and he feeds us accordingly.
And Yes God can make even our bodies (the most physicalistic and prone-to-corruption-thing there is) living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him.
If he can make us a temple of the Holy Ghost, from our flesh and bones, by our faith and odedience, why can't he make his risen body and risen blood, by our faith and obedience from a piece of bread and wine?
Only a Return To A Biblical Version of the Supper Will Revive It
And yet despite the Spiritual and biblical richness of the Lord's Supper, too many of us Christians, in some way or another, have not done justice to eating of the fruit of the tree of Calvary, and instead have allowed historical and denominational polemics to interfere with God's word and our rich biblical faith.
A change back to the above biblical approach to the Lord's supper would consitute a noble goal and another worthy fruit of the Reformation, for as John the Baptist cried at Matthew 3,8 to the religious class of his day:
"Bear fruit worthy of reformation."
"we are the ones who want to know you in the breaking of the bread. Who by faith, by acting on the promises of your word, again and again, see you today standing at the door of our souls, inviting us each and as one body to sup with you.
And as we partake of you Jesus, may we become ready and faithful enough for you to dwell in us, each of us, and in our church body. That you would revive and reform your supper, in the mighty name of Jesus, messiah of Israel and all the nations. Amen."
For a short video re. the revived supper:
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...