John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Eating and drinking in the Bible is used as a metaphor for ‘doing’.
Proverbs 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
Jesus did the will of God – God’s commandments were his meat and drink.
John 4:32... I have meat to eat that ye know not of... 34... My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
When Christ speaks of eating his flesh and drinking his blood he is referring to living by his commandments.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
It is certain that eating bread and drinking wine cannot save us.
The bread represents his body and the wine represents his blood but it is reasonable to suppose that we are expected to recognise that his body and blood in turn represent the life that he lived in obedience to God’s commandments. It was by his obedience to his Father that we can have imputed righteousness.
Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
To live a life in Christ requires our obedience.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
The comparison of our obedience with that of Christ is surely the ground for the self examination that Paul exhorts.
1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
The self examination must be an examination of the way in which we are living – whether we are obeying the commandments of Christ or not.
There is no merit in eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ whether literally or in symbol for literal eating and drinking has no spiritual value.
1 Corinthians 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
That which we eat or drink has no spiritual benefit because it cannot enter our minds.
Mark 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
It is that which comes out of us that matters – the things that we say and do. If we say and do only those things commanded then we put to death the flesh.
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Only if we are trying to live in this way can we genuinely ‘shew the Lord’s death’ in sharing the bread and wine.
1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
Communion is ‘fellowship’. We can have fellowship only by living lives which reflect his.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,