This Is My Body

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. (Mark 14:22)

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.(Luke 22:19)

As the time of Jesus’ crucifixion drew near, He celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples.  This, however, would be a very special observation of this Jewish holiday.  On this occasion, Jesus takes bread and breaks it after blessing it.  He gives it to His disciples as a representation of His body that would be broken in the coming hours.

He commands them to take it and eat it.  This signified that although His time with them as a physical Being was coming to an end, He would still be part of them spiritually.  He would dwell within them.

He tells them that the bread is His body.  Roman Catholics believe this passage should be taken literally, meaning that they teach that during the practice of communion, the bread undergoes a physical change and literally becomes the body of Christ.  This doctrine is called “transubstantiation”.  However, it must be pointed out that Jesus was still physically present when he said this.  Logically, the the bread could not have been Him.  Those of us who hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible recognize that there are figures of speech in the Scriptures.  For example, in other passages Jesus referred to Himself as a “door” (John 10:9), a “vine” (John 15:5), “light” (John 8:12), and “way” (literally “road”, John 14:6).  That these references are to be understood metaphorically rather than literally is without question.  When speaking of the bread, Jesus was simply saying that the bread shared a characteristic (brokenness) with Him.

He also states that His body was “given for you”.  Jesus gave Himself for us.  He died in our place.  He freely offered Himself for us, so that we could have eternal life (John 3:16).  That was the most precious gift of all.

Today, we practice the Lord’s Supper to remember the great sacrifice that He made for us.  This is a command that He gave, “this do in remembrance of me.”  It is a sobering time of reflection and a time of intimate, personal worship of the Savior.