Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternallife; and I will raise Him up at the last day.
For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.
Then read His concluding declaration in verse 63 of the same chapter:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
How does Jesus' declaration here relate to the discussion regarding His meaning when saying, "This is My body"?
Metaphors -Comparisons; figures of speech in which a term is applied to something -not literally, but in order to suggest a resemblance
physical interpretation. Jesus' words, "This is My body," and "This is My blood," are to be interpreted symbolically and not literally. We can determine this from the following truths:
1. Jesus was yet alive when He spoke these words; He had not died -The broken bread and poured wine must therefore picture His broken body and shed blood, for his actual body had not yet been broken nor had his blood been shed. For Christ and His apostles to literally eat His flesh and drink his blood while He was still alive is to teach a repulsive impossibility.
2. Jesus clearly states that the wine they drank remained only actual wine during the Lord's Supper service -In the verse following His words, "This is My blood," Jesus states, "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:29). No change or addition of substance is noted here. Jesus drank "the fruit of the vine," not blood or blood and wine, but wine only. He drank wine that represented His blood.
3. Jesus' human body is in heaven, and a human body can only be at one place at one time -Jesus told His disciples, "A little while, and ye shall not see Me" (John 16:16a). "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father" (John 16:28). After Jesus' ascension, the angels said to the apostles, "Yemen of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
The purpose of the Lord's Supper is to "remember Him who departed to heaven," not to physically bring Him back from heaven.
4. It contradicts our sense of sight, taste, smell, and touch -No change or addition of physical flesh and blood can be detected. The teaching that God performs this remarkable physical miracle but leaves no trace of it that our physical senses can detect, places this matter in a very questionable light.
5. Jesus frequently used metaphors in His speech -For example, when Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the Door