In order to understand Jesus' teachings, it is often a good idea to heed Jesus' advice about the crucial importance of focusing on the "Spirit of the Law", rather than getting lost in an inappropriate, more mundane literal or "physical" interpretation. And this advice is particularly important when attempting to understand the true meaning of his words at the "Last Supper".
In the years leading up to his ministry - while traveling through India and abroad, Jesus had completely transcended all selfish desires and impulses, and achieved complete Self-Realization and perfect Self-Mastery. Consequently, he was always speaking from the transcendent raised Christ Consciousness, which comprised his normal, everyday level of "awareness". And yet, during the days leading up to his arrest, crucifixion, resurrection and Ascension, Jesus was in an even higher stage of this transcendent Universal Christ Consciousness than normal. So when Jesus was speaking to his disciples during the "Last Supper", he was speaking from an even higher level, then they were already used to hearing him speak. It is vital to understand this fact, so that we understand just what Jesus was actually talking about, when he was sharing the bread and the wine with his twelve disciples:
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered 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 (NIV)
" . . . do this in remembrance of me."
- Luke 22:19 (NIV)
It's important to realize that since Jesus was speaking from the transcendent level of the Universal Christ Consciousness, when he says "this is my body", he wasn't referring to his physical, flesh body. He instead is referring to the much vaster and more transcendent, Universal "Body of Christ", which is made of a special "Light Substance" - "the Universal Light of the Christ" and fills the entire Universe at Cosmic Levels. So, when Jesus says:
"Take it; this is my body,"
- Mark 14:22, NIV
he means that this bread has now become: 1) a symbol of "the Universal Light Substance of the Christ"; as well as 2) being purified by, and saturated with, "the Universal Light Substance of the Christ". In other words, it has become "one with" the Universal "Light-Body of Christ". So the bread doesn't represent Jesus' physical, fleshly body. It represents the Light Substance of the transcendent, Universal Body of Christ which we can intune to and eventually become "one" with.
Similarly, when Jesus offered the cup of wine and said:
"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,"
- Mark 14:24, NIV
again he was speaking from the sacred, holy consciousness of the transcendent Universal "Christ Consciousness". Thus, he wasn't speaking about his physical blood at all. And when he speaks about the new "covenant", he is referring to the new spiritual relationship of humanity with GOD, that will begin dawning with Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, and become especially powerful after Jesus' Ascension and the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost a few weeks after Jesus Ascension. Thus, the "blood" of the new covenant is nothing less than the out flow of the "Holy Spirit", which is continually being "poured out for the many" - the "many" being all those who are kind and good and who look to the Light. And of course this new continual outpouring of the Holy Spirit (the flowing divine energy of the Universal Body of Christ) brings continuous spiritual renewal, increased wisdom and spiritual understanding and abilities, and eventually, ever sustaining life.
But, this is a difficult concept to explain to disciples who have not yet experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in its fullness. They wouldn't begin to experience that until the day of Pentecost, a few weeks after Jesus' Ascension. So, in order to get the point across, Jesus used the analogy of the physical blood flowing through our physical bodies, because it gives us life at the physical vibratory level, as it renews our cells, organs and muscles. So the wine represents the flow of the blood through our veins and arteries, which in turn represents the continual flow and outpouring of the universal Holy Spirit, (which would begin in such a transcendently powerful way, a few weeks hence), which is to our spiritual bodies, what physical blood is to our physical bodies.
The Bread = The Light Substance of the Transcendent Universal Light-Body of Christ.
The Grape Juice = The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
And then Jesus said:
" . . . do this in remembrance of me."
Luke 22:19 (NIV)
So the message of Last Supper and the "Blessed Sacrament" of Bread and "wine" of "Holy Communion" is simply Jesus' way of giving us a simple, easy-to-remember ritual that will help us to remember him and his sacred ministry to us, as well as to think about and experience this sacred outpouring of the Holy Spirit, whenever we partook of it. It's a way of reminding us of the gift of the Holy Spirit that he's given us, and that we can feel whenever we pray with sweet devotion, or sing joyous songs of worship to him.
It's really that simple, that glorious, that transcendent & that wonderful!
No wonder the Eucharist is so powerful!!! No wonder Blessed Mary, as the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, encourages all Catholics to celebrate the Eucharist!
Jesus and the disciples, like most everyone else in the Middle East, drank wine rather than grape juice, because they didn't have any form of refrigeration to keep the grape juice from spoiling. Thus, people who owned vineyards often converted most of their grapes to wine, so they would not spoil. But, nowadays, we have all kinds of means of refrigerating or preserving fruit juices, so we don't need to drink anything that has been fermented. And since for some people there is a significant chance of getting addicted to alcoholic beverages or abusing them in some way, and since the effects of alcohol tends to lower our spiritual consciousness, Sathya Sai Baba and our Ascended Sisters and Brothers strongly urge us to avoid any kind of alcoholic beverages. Likewise, modern Christian churches usually serve grape juice during "communion" or the "Eucharist" to avoid the alcohol. After all, the wine or grape juice is only a symbol of something much more wonderful: the inflowing Holy Spirit that is pouring into our hearts when we open our Hearts to GOD, Jesus, the Buddha, Krishna or some other divine being.
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Copyright 2014 Bill Gaum All Rights Reserved