“Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” –Luke 23:46
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.” (Matthew 26:26–28 NLT)
Many a mother has reprimanded her child for eating junk food by stating, “You are what you eat.” Though she is attempting to encourage the consumption of healthy food to promote a healthy body, a more accurate wording would be, “What you eat becomes part of who you are.” Cell replication within your body—where new cells are formed to replace older, dying cells—is a normal process that is fueled by the oxygen you breathe, the water you drink, and, above all, the food you eat. The building blocks of these new cells comes directly from the nutrients within your food.
When Jesus uses the imagery of eating His body and drinking His blood, He is inviting us to take His teachings, example, death, and resurrection as our own. New Testament scholar Leon Morris says this language from Jesus about eating His body and drinking His blood seems to be “a very graphic way of saying that [we] must take Christ into [our] innermost being.” When we take part in communion—drinking the cup and eating the bread—we are not only “announcing the Lord’s death,” as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:26, we are also proclaiming the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us. Every time you break bread today, whether alone or with others, invite the Holy Spirit dwelling within you to form you into the image of Jesus.