Q. Did Christ or the Apostles: Teach us that the communion supper should be imagined as real human flesh and blood?
BFHU: ABOLUTELY! Right here in John 6 :
John 6: 47“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
48″I am the bread of life 49″Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50″This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
51″I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” 52Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55″For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56″He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57″As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
58″This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
Q. Remember Christ said His words are spirit (i.e. spiritually symbolic and important), the spirit gives life Jn 6:63.
BFHU Exactly, but the Spirit is in NO WAY just a symbol. Spiritual does NOT equal Symbolic. That which is spiritual is an unseen reality. It is in NO WAY equivalent to a symbol or symbolism in any way. We do not believe that the third person of the Holy Trinity is the Holy Symbol.
Q. We eat Christ spiritually, not physically like cannibals.
BFHU True that it is not cannibalistic. But neither is it symbolic. That would be contradictory. In the Aramaic language that Jesus spoke, to symbolically “eat the flesh” or “drink the blood” of someone meant to persecute and assault him. Did you know that there are several places in the Bible where “eating flesh and drinking blood” is used in a symbolic or metaphorical way? Lets take a look at what this phrase means when it is used metaphorically as opposed to literally.
Psalm 27:2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me…”
Micah 3:2-3 you who hate good and love evil;…who eat my people’s flesh…
Rev 17: 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
Rev. 17:16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
So, we see that when “eating flesh” and “drinking blood” is used metaphorically or symbolically in the Bible it means destruction and murder. And it is still true today. If you got a letter that said someone wanted “to eat your flesh and drink your blood” you would take it as an evil threat of some kind and not an invitation to loving communion. Jesus was speaking literally in John 6 but no one would know just what He had in mind until the Last Supper. Communion in His body and blood is literal but not cannibalistic. Jesus feeds us spiritually with Bread from Heaven. Only the faithful stayed with him. Only faith helps us believe Him.
Q. He is the bread from heaven. Spiritually. Remember, many of His disciples left Him that day because they thought He was saying to literally eat His body. Jn 6:66
BFHU: Exactly! Many left Him BECAUSE THEY KNEW HE WAS SPEAKING LITERALLY AND NOT SPIRITUALLY OR SYMBOLICALLY. Did you know that in the Greek, when people began to question His seeming cannibalism, he switched from a general word for “eat” to a word that means “chew” or “gnaw.” Jesus did not try to explain in any way that he was not speaking literally. And unfortunately, Protestants have left Him over this as well.
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