This Is My Body

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. (Mark 14:22-24)

Unless we happen to be Jewish, it’s difficult to understand the significance of the Passover Meal that had been celebrated by the Jews for 1,000 years by the time of Jesus. Every year, Jesus and His disciples had experienced that very distinctive meal remembering and celebrating the night in Egypt so long ago, when the angel of death had “passed over” the Israelites and brought death to the first born of Egypt. This judgment of God brought about the release of Israel from their slavery in Egypt and set them on their path toward the Promised Land. The physical meal had great spiritual dimensions, with every piece of food and drink symbolizing a different part of God’s redemptive mercy.
As the disciples took this familiar meal together with Him for the last time, Jesus infused it with a whole new meaning which would forever change it for His followers. He served a horizontal meal meant to commemorate a spiritually significant event and transformed it into a vertical feast of remembrance. Jesus Himself had become the Passover Lamb and every part of the meal became about Him. He took it from being a horizontal celebration of deliverance from physical slavery to a vertical focus that celebrated their upcoming spiritual deliverance from sin and death through the Cross. Bread and wine now became Christ’s body and blood. Physical food would still be eaten, but with a whole new purpose.
As His followers, we now celebrate what we call Communion, the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist and remember the once for all sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God for the sins of the world.
The pattern of Jesus seems to regularly take what is common and turn it into the uncommon, even something like a 1,000-year-old tradition. Bread comes to represent His body given for us. Wine signifies His blood that was shed for us. A meal becomes a feast of remembrance and an experience of His presence. Followers of Jesus should follow His example and always look for ways to bring the vertical into the horizontal.
For many believers today, if not properly directed spiritually, the Lord’s Supper can become a routine obligation or simply part of a worship service rather than an invitation to remember the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior that set us free and brought us eternal life! The significance of this reality alone will not change or move us as we take the bread and the cup. We may be unmoved if we stay in the horizontal tradition, but we will be filled with life in the vertical realm of walking in the Spirit!

Listen: Spend a few quiet moments seeking God. Be attentive to whatever He may speak to your heart.

Reflect: How is the Spirit leading you to respond to what you have heard from God?

Confess and Repent: If there is something the Spirit convicts you of, take time to prayerfully confess it. Resolve to turn from it if it is sin, or step toward whatever He is leading you into that you have either neglected or not seen before.

Ask: Thank You Lord, for instituting Communion. In such a simple, beautiful way, You call us to remember and to celebrate. Help me as I partake of it to draw near and to look up. Lord, in every part of life, I want to fix my eyes on You. May today become an uncommon day in every way as I look to You.


  • Communion is a time of remembrance. It is not to be taken in an unworthy manner: “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27). How do you examine your heart prior to taking the Lord’s Supper?
  • How would you explain the significance of Communion to someone who is not a believer? If you are unsure, take time to think this through.
  • Most Christians have only taken Communion during a worship service in their local church. Consider spending a significant amount of time at home, either as an individual, a couple or a family meditating upon 1 Corinthians 11:20-34. It speaks about how Jesus consecrated bread and wine for a spiritual purpose . . . the representation of His body and blood. Remember to give thanks for this sacrifice and then partake of Communion.

Taken from Vertical with Jesus by David and Kim Butts. © 2022 PrayerShop Publishing.