(Continued from page 311)
Metaphorical interpretation proves falseness of Papal dogma of transubstantiation
Jesus spoke of symbolizing the new covenant
You mention 'the 'door' metaphor'. This is part of the crucial evidence against the Roman Catholic view of the Lord's Supper which fails to simply recognize the symbolic character of Jesus' statements when he declared: 'This is my body,' or, 'This is my blood.' Jesus spoke in symbolic ways many times when speaking of himself. He said, for example, 'I am the true vine' (John 15:1), or 'I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved' (John 10:9), or 'I am the bread which came down from heaven' (John 6:41). In a similar way, when Jesus says, 'This is my body,' he means it in a symbolic way, not in an actual, literal, physical way. There are a whole host of reasons for rejecting the Roman Catholic dogma of transubstantiation:
Firstly, the Lord was there in bodily presence, reclining with His disciples at the table, His hands that broke the bread and handed it to them being members of His Body. The disciples certainly did not conceive of His having, or creating, another body in any sense, shape or form, in addition to that in which He was present with them. In fact, as He was sitting with His disciples holding the bread, the bread was in His hand but it was distinct from His body, and that was, of course, evident to the disciples. None of the disciples present would have thought that the loaf of bread that Jesus held in His hand was actually His physical body, for they could see His body before their eyes. They would have naturally understood Jesus' statement in a symbolic way. Similarly, when Jesus said, 'This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood' (Luke 22:20), He certainly did not mean that the cup was actually the new covenant, but that the cup represented the new covenant.
As to His words, upon giving the broken loaf to the disciples, 'Take, eat, this is My body' (Matthew 26:26), certain considerations should be sufficient to make clear that any idea of the actual transmutation of the material elements of the bread into the substance of His body, was by no means His intention:
MT 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' 27 Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.' (cf. Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20)
Secondly, the parallel statement concerning the cup cannot be taken as conveying the thought of transmutation. The following reason is sufficient to show this. The Lord, upon giving the disciples the cup, said: 'For this is My blood …'. The narratives in Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25, are given as His words: 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood.' In the phrase: 'He brake it, and said This is My body, which is for you' we should note that, while some ancient texts have the word rendered 'broken' after 'is,' the most authentic omit that verb, and this is consistent with the statement 'which is given for you' in Luke 22:19. The insertion of the word 'broken' was no doubt the outcome of the idea that the act of breaking the loaf represented the breaking of His body, but that is not borne out by the Scripture elsewhere. For while Scripture declares that no bone of Him was broken, it likewise gives no suggestion that the wounds in His hands, feet and side were the breaking of His body. Christ had taken a physical body, becoming incarnate, in order that in His atoning sacrifice He might yield His body up to death by crucifixion; this is conveyed in the phrase 'which is for you,' and of this bread is the symbol and token. Had He not done so, there would be no spiritual nourishment for us in and by His Person, of which the bread is the emblem (cf. John 6:33, 51 where, however, the Lord's Supper is not the subject).
Papal decree (A.D. 1415) forbade laymen to partake of the wine in the Lord's Supper
When Christ spoke to the disciples in the Upper Room, it thus becomes plain that He spoke of the cup as symbolizing the new covenant. Plainly His words here, therefore, signify representation and not transubstantiation. The word 'this' (neuter in the original) in Matthew 26:28 refers back to the cup (poterion, also neuter), which the narrative records Him having just taken. 'He took a cup … saying … Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new covenant.' Therefore the four narratives are all in agreement. The Lord's language shows that He had no idea of the transmutation of the contents of the cup itself: Since the cup was undeniably a representation of the new covenant in His blood, the preceding and parallel phrase 'this is My body' should never have been interpreted as indicating a change of the actual substance from bread into His body. Clearly, what the Lord meant was: 'This bread represents My body, and this cup with its contents represents the new covenant to be made in My death and to be ratified by the shedding of My blood.' In regard to the cup, this is again confirmed by what is said of the cup and of the bread in 1 Corinthians 10:16: 'The cup of blessing … is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread … is it not a communion of the body of Christ?' Neither the cup nor the bread is the actual communion. They stand for, or represent, the communion (that which we have in common as believers), and so the bread precisely represents His body.
Thirdly, in all statements with the verb 'to be' as the connecting predicate, the verb is never used to signify that one thing is changed into another. In other words, it is never used as the equivalent of ginomai, 'to become.' In all such usage either (a) the object is actually what it is said to be, apart from any change from the one thing to another (as e.g., 'This is the witness of John,' John 1:19), or (b) the object represents what it is said to be (as, e.g., 'the field is the world,' Matthew 13:38; 'these women are two covenants,' Galatians 4:24; 'the seven heads are seven mountains,' Revelation 17:9). Obviously (a) is not the case in the statement, 'this is My body' (for the doctrine of transubstantiation supposes a change from one thing to another). We are therefore confined to the meaning as set forth in the examples under (b), and the statement is to be understood as meaning 'This bread represents My body.'
Fourthly, there is not the slightest intimation in any writing of apostolic times, or of post apostolic times for some centuries, that believers either were taught, or understood, that any change took place in the substance either of the bread or of the wine. On the contrary, the testimony of the apostle Paul is against the theory of transubstantiation; for throughout the passage, and with reference even to the actual partaking, which would be after the alleged pronouncement of the blessing, the elements are spoken of still as the bread and the cup, and not as the body and the blood.
Another cultic flip-flop (Vatican II council, 1962-65) now allows both bread and the wine to lay-persons!
Fifthly, the Lord's words concerning the cup were: 'Drink ye all of it.' That this was not intended simply for the apostles but for all believers, is clear from the testimony of 1 Corinthians 11:26, where the apostle, speaking of the whole church at Corinth, says: 'as often as ye … drink the cup.' In the context of 1 Corinthians 11 Paul is rebuking the Corinthians for their selfish and inconsiderate conduct when they come together as a church: 'When you meet together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk' (1 Corinthians 11:20-21). This helps us understand what Paul means when he talks about those who eat and drink 'without discerning the body' (1 Corinthians 11:29). The problem at Corinth was not a failure to understand that the bread and cup represented the body and blood of the Lord - they certainly knew that. The problem rather was their selfish, inconsiderate conduct toward each other while they were at the Lord's table. They were not understanding or 'discerning' the true nature of the church as one body. This interpretation of 'without discerning the body' is supported by Paul's mention of the church as the body of Christ earlier, in 1 Corinthians 10:17: 'Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.' This very brief mention of the idea of one body means we may rightly suppose that it was not a new idea, but that Paul had taught them this idea while staying in Corinth for two years when he founded the church there.
The phrase 'not discerning the body' means 'not understanding the unity and interdependence of people in the church, which is the body of Christ' - and not failing to properly understand the Papal 'truth' of the Mass, as some Catholics claim. It means not taking thought for our brothers and sisters when we come to the Lord's Supper, at which we ought to reflect His character. Two other reasons for this interpretation are: (1) Paul only says 'not discerning the body,' and he does not say 'not discerning the body and blood of the Lord,' which he more likely would have done if he had meant 'not understanding that the bread and cup represent the body and blood of the Lord.' (2) In addition, Paul says, 'Let a man examine himself ' (and this would no doubt include examining his relationships with others in the church), but Paul does not say, 'Let him see if he understands what the bread and wine stand for.'
What does it mean, then, to eat or drink 'in an unworthy manner' (1 Corinthians 11:27)? We might at first think the words apply rather narrowly and pertain only to the way we conduct ourselves when we actually eat and drink the bread and wine. But when Paul explains that unworthy participation involves 'not discerning the body,' he indicates that we are to take thought for all of our relationships within the body of Christ: are we acting in ways that vividly portray not the unity of the one bread and one body, but disunity? Are we conducting ourselves in ways that proclaim not the self-giving sacrifice of our Lord, but enmity and selfishness? In a broad sense, then, 'Let a man examine himself' means that we ought to ask whether our relationships in the body of Christ are in fact reflecting the character of the Lord whom we meet there and whom we represent.
When Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Lateran Council (A.D. 1215) to settle doctrinal matters it decided that annual confession to a priest was mandatory for all lay-persons (despite not one jot of Scriptural support). And it also enunciated the dogma of transubstantiation, which meant that the bread and wine miraculously become the actual body and blood of Christ upon pronouncement of the priest - because Rome said so! Among the decisions of this council that the Roman church would probably rather forget was one that ordered that Jews were always to wear a distinctive dress and to stay in their ghettos (as shown elsewhere, Islam and Rome share more than a few things with the Nazis - and some people seriously attempt to defend these horrors). The comments here do not begin to describe adequately the power of 'Innocent III,' and over 6,000 of his letters exist, showing his involvement in and control over endless aspects of church and society in Western Europe - including the Inquisition.
The priests were now authorised by the 'infallible' popes to perform an actual sacrifice of Christ every time the Mass was said. Moreover, the council gave official sanction to the seven sacraments and provided some definition of them. This impertinence was then compounded in its hypocrisy by the audacious Papal decree promulgated in A.D. 1415, forbidding laymen to partake of the wine in the Lord's Supper (for fear that the blood of Christ would be spilled) but only to eat the bread - another very direct testimony against the un-Scriptural assumption that the wine ever became changed into blood. Ludwig Ott (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma) informs us:
Communion under two forms is not necessary for any individual member of the Faithful, either by reason of Divine precept or as a means of salvation.... The reason is that Christ is whole and entire under each species.... The abolition of the reception from the chalice in the Middle Ages (12th and 13th centuries) was enjoined for practical reasons, particularly danger of profanation of the Sacrament. (p. 397)
Papal contradiction meant failure to fully administer 'Sacramental Mass' to all believers for 550 years!
However, in another cultic flip-flop, the Vatican II council (1962-65) now allows the administration of both the bread and the wine to lay-persons, although it is not always practiced.
The Law of God given to the people of Israel forbade the drinking of blood (Leviticus 17:10, 14). Nor was the prohibition ever removed. On the contrary, it was enforced by the decree issued for the churches by the apostles at their gathering at Jerusalem. The churches were to abstain from what is strangled and from blood (Acts 15:20). Any ecclesiastical fiat, therefore, confining the cup to a sacerdotal partaking (which is itself a breach of the Lord's own institution of the cup) simply made Papal priests guilty, under the supposition of transubstantiation, of disobeying the divine prohibition against partaking of blood. But the idea is preposterous. The Lord never instituted a feast which would involve a breach of divine prohibitions.
Sixthly, the statement 'Ye proclaim the Lord's death,' taken with the Lord's own words on the subject, teaches that the elements are emblems of Christ in His death, and not in His exaltation and presence in heaven as the ascended Lord. For, while in bodily presence He is at the right hand of the throne of God, He is at the same time, in fulfillment of His promise, Himself spiritually in the midst of His people, not in the elements on the table, but personally with them (as He clearly enunciated in John 14-17 etc.). That He 'took bread' and 'took' a cup (lambano is the ordinary word denoting either 'to take' or 'to receive' - and it never conveys the suggestion of elevating a cup), afforded no ground whatever for the sacerdotal practice of elevating the emblems, either for presentation or veneration. There is no stress upon the word in the original, rendered 'took.' What is recorded is simply an act in the ordinary sense of the word.
Seventhly, whereas attempts have been made to explain the breaking of bread by the interpretation of John 6, a careful perusal of that passage, in which Christ speaks of His being the living bread, shows that there is no reference there to the Lord's Supper. Christ was on that occasion speaking of the means whereby a person obtains eternal life, which is granted on the ground of faith, and not on the ground of partaking of the bread in the Lord's Supper. Moreover, when He said: 'The bread which I shall give is My flesh, for the life of the world' (v51), and the Jews made the mistake of taking His words literally, He rebuked them, with the remark, 'It is the Spirit that quickeneth … the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you that believe not.' To take His words therefore in the literal sense is to support what has become one of the greatest errors of Roman Catholicism. Plainly the Lord was drawing the analogy between material support of the body by bread and the spiritual support of the soul by faith.
The partaking of the Lord's Supper, as set forth in the New Testament, is marked by an entire absence of officialism. There is no hint of the appointment of anyone for the administration of the elements. Both the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the cup are for the whole congregation. The cup is 'the cup of blessing which we bless' (or 'give thanks for,' as is the meaning in 1 Corinthians 14:16); the bread is that which 'we break.' The argument that the 'we' stands for the apostles and their successors is refuted by the context; for the apostle immediately says: 'seeing that we, who are many, are one bread, one body: for we all partake of the one bread.' Again, when he points out to the church at Corinth the inconsistency of partaking of the cup of demons and the cup of the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:21: 'Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils'), the implication in the 'ye' ('you') is obvious (save to those who have some unscriptural theory to advance) that the whole church partook of the cup.
The sacerdotalism (excessive authority and supernatural sacrificial functions of ordained 'priests') of Rome, by mere human tradition, has intruded human mediators for official ministrations of the elements to all the partakers, marred the character of the feast as appointed by the Lord, and has perverted the carrying out of His intentions. The solemn responsibility and happy privilege of believers is to follow His will and adhere to the teaching which He has left on record for us in the Scriptures.
Of course, all the ramifications and absurdities of transubstantiation were discussed long ago by Protestant groups, as in the excellent examination of Rome's errors in 'A FAMILY INSTRUCTIONAL GUIDE', Thomas Vincent; Christian Classics Foundation: Simpsonville SC; Ephesians Four Group; Copyright 1999; The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly Explained and Proved from Scripture, where the following questions are answered:
QUESTION 13: What are signified and represented by the bread and wine in this sacrament?
ANSWER: By the bread and wine in this sacrament are signified and represented the body and blood of Christ. 'Take, eat; this is my body. This cup is the new testament in my blood' (1 Cor. 11:24, 25).
QUESTION 14: Is not the bread in this sacrament transubstantiated and turned into the real body of Christ when our Savior telleth his disciples expressly, 'This is my body?'
ANSWER: The bread in this sacrament is not transubstantiated and turned into the real body of Christ, but is only a sign and representation of Christ's body.
QUESTION 15: How do you prove that the bread in this sacrament is not turned into the real body of Christ?
ANSWER: That the bread in this sacrament is not turned into the real body of Christ, may be proved by diverse arguments.
Argument: 1. It is evident, both to sense and reason, that the bread, after consecration, remaineth bread as it was before (a). It is evident unto sense, the quantity or bigness of bread remaineth, the figure of bread remaineth, the locality or place of bread remaineth, the color, taste, and smell of bread remain; and nothing in the world is more evident unto sense than the bread in the sacrament, no alteration in the least, unto the sense, being made by its consecration. (b). It is evident unto reason that the bread cannot be turned into another substance, and the accidents not to be at all changed or altered. When our Savior turned water into wine, the water, as it lost its substance, so also it lost its color, taste, smell, and other accidents; and the wine made of water, had the color, taste, and smell of wine, as well as the substance of wine. In the sacrament there is no other color, taste, figure, or any accident out of bread and, therefore, in reason, there is no other substance but of bread. In the sacrament we must either do the body of Christ with the accidents of bread, and say that his body is of such a figure, taste, and color, as the bread is, which would render him ill flavored, ill shaped, and debase his body (so glorious now in heaven) into the likeness of bread, which is such all absurd blasphemy that none will affirm. Or else, if the accidents of bread cannot be attributed unto Christ's body, and yet the substance of bread be gone and the substance of Christ's body come into its room, then the accidents of bread do exist without a subject, which is most absurd and contradictory to reason. We perceive by our senses such a color, taste, and figure: it cannot be the body of Christ that is of such a color, taste, and figure; and if there be no other substance in the room that has these accidents, hence it follows, that it is nothing which has this color, taste, and figure; and that in the sacrament there is a white nothing, a sweet nothing, a loaf of nothing, a piece of nothing, which is a ridiculous absurdity. Nothing is more evident to reason, than that the substance of the bread remaineth unchanged, while the accidents remain unchanged.
Argument 2. If the bread in this sacrament be turned into the real body of Christ, then either there are so many bodies of Christ as there are pieces of bread eaten in all sacraments, or else they are all one and the same body. (a). It cannot be that there should be so many bodies of Christ as there are pieces of bread eaten in all sacraments because first, Christ would then be a monster with many thousands, yea, millions of bodies. Secondly, it would lie in the power of any minister to make as many bodies of Christ as he pleased, or that God should be bound to work a miracle every time the bread is consecrated. Thirdly, this cannot consist with Christ's unity. Fourthly, none of Christ's bodies but one, would be the body which was born of the Virgin Mary, and that died upon the cross. Fifthly, all these bodies, but the one he has in heaven, would be without a soul, and so altogether insufficient to save the soul or to confer any spiritual life or grace by the feeding upon them in the sacrament. Therefore it cannot be that there should be so many bodies of Christ as there are pieces of bread eaten in all sacraments. (b). Neither can it be one and the same body of Christ which the bread in the sacrament is turned into; for then it would follow, first, that Christ's body is both visible and invisible: visible in heaven, and invisible in the sacrament. Secondly, that one and the same body of Christ is present in diverse places at the same time in heaven and in diverse places of the earth; and to say that one and the same body, which is circumscribed by one place, is at the same time present in a thousand other places, is abhorrent unto all reason: and it is in effect to say - it is where it is not, and is not where it is, which is an absurd contradiction. If Christ's body be in heaven, it is not in the sacrament. If it be in the sacrament it is not in heaven. Christ's body is not divided, and so by parts in one place and in another at the same time. Neither is Christ's body infinite and so present in diverse places together, as God is present; for then his body would cease to be a body. Therefore Christ's body cannot be in diverse places together. Therefore, being in heaven, it is not present in the sacrament
Argument 3. If the bread in the sacrament be turned into the real body of Christ, then, after the eating of it, either it returns to heaven (which it cannot do, because it is there already), or else it remaineth with them that eat it. If so, then Christ's body in part would be turned into the substance of our bodies, and if we are wicked, when these same bodies are raised, it would be tormented for ever in hell a part also of Christ's body would go into the draught, and be subject to corruption. Either of which to affirm is most horribly blasphemous. Therefore the Popish tenet of transubstantiation is to be abominated by all.
Argument 4. If the bread in this sacrament were turned into the real body of Christ, both the nature and end of the sacrament would be destroyed. The nature of the sacrament is to be a sign, the end of it is to be a remembrance of Christ; both which suppose Christ's body to be absent, which this sacrament is a sign and remembrance of. Whereas if the bread were turned into Christ's body, it would be present.
Argument 5. It is bread which is eaten in this sacrament, and not the body of Christ; and so it is termed by the apostle. 'As often as ye eat this bread' - not this body of Christ. 'Whosoever shall eat this bread unworthily,' 'Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread' (1 Cor. 11:26-28). And if it be bread which is eaten in this sacrament, surely the bread is not turned into the real body of Christ.
QUESTION 16: But are not the words of our Savior plain in his institution of this sacrament, 'This is my body'? Would he have said it, had not the bread been turned into his real body?
ANSWER: If all Scripture expressions besides were to be understood literally, then there would be some reason that this expression should be so understood too; but we frequently find figurative expressions in the Scripture, and that includes Christ. 'That rock was Christ' (1 Cor. 10:4). 'That Christ himself being the chief cornerstone' (Eph. 2:20). Is Jesus Christ, therefore, turned into a rock or stone? In the same sense as, in the Jewish sacrament, the paschal lamb is called the Passover, the bread in the Christian sacrament is called the body of Christ: the paschal lamb could in no proper sense be the Passover, which was the action of the angel in passing over the houses of the Israelites, when he destroyed the first born of the Egyptians. What absurdity is it to say, that the paschal lamb was turned into this action of the angel! Surely a present substance could not be turned into an accident or action which was long before, but it was a sign or commemoration of that action. So the bread in this sacrament is not properly the body of Christ, and so one body turned into another without its accidents, but the bread is a sign of the body of Christ, and a commemoration of Christ's body which was crucified for us.
QUESTION 17: But cannot God, by his infinite power, turn the bread into the real body of Christ? If he can do it, why may we not believe that he really does it, when Christ says, 'This is my body'?
ANSWER: Although God, by his infinite power can do all things which are possible unto true power, yet we may safely say that God cannot do any which implies imperfection and weakness, so as to make contradictions true, and to introduce ridiculous absurdities and blasphemous consequences: which he should do, if he should turn the bread in the sacrament, but without the transmutation of its accidents, into the real body of Christ.
In conclusion, this last comment probably summarises the doctrine of transubstantiation well. The mis-interpretation of Scripture results in absurdities, blasphemies, and contradictions - even within the Papal Church which claims this to be truth! Seasoned Catholics will remain convinced they have the truth even when faced with the hypocritical contradiction of their churches failure to fully administer their 'Sacramental Mass' - of the bread and wine - to all believers for 550 years. If you really believe that there is any danger of men and women 'self-destructing' because of a misunderstanding you can be certain that the Roman Catholic Church has caused exactly that - either for the first ~1200 years of its supposed existence, or the intervening 550 years! This should be cause enough to pursue the truth with your friend.
Matthew Henry struck the nail on the head when he wrote (in his commentary on Matthew 24):
These false Christ's and false prophets would have their agents and emissaries busy in all places to draw people in to them, v. 23. Then when public troubles are great and threatening, and people will be catching at any thing that looks like deliverance, then Satan will take the advantage of imposing on them; they will say, Lo, here is a Christ, or there is one; but do not mind them: the true Christ did not strive, nor cry; nor was it said of him, Lo, here! or Lo, there! (Lu. 17:21), therefore if any man say so concerning him, look upon it as a temptation. The hermits, who place religion in a monastical life, say, He is in the desert; the priests, who made the consecrated wafer to be Christ, say, 'He is en tois tameiois - in the cupboards, in the secret chambers: lo, he is in this shrine, in that image.' Thus some appropriate Christ's spiritual presence to one party or persuasion, as if they had the monopoly of Christ and Christianity; and the kingdom of Christ must stand and fall, must live and die, with them; "Lo, he is in this church, in that council:'' whereas Christ is All in all, not here or there, but meets his people with a blessing in every place where he records his name. (Matthew Henry's Commentary : On the whole Bible, 1996, Hendrickson: Peabody)
Finally, we have the appearance of Christ to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:28-35):
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, 29 but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?" 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, 34 who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
As the disciples were nearing their home they invited their fellow-traveller to spend the night with them. At first, He courteously acted as if He were going to continue His journey; He would not force an entry. But they prevailed on Him to stay with them, and how richly they were rewarded for, when they sat down for the evening meal, the Guest took the place of Host. The frugal meal became a sacrament, and the home became a House of God. That's what Christ does wherever He goes. Those who entertain Him will be well entertained. Those who open their home to Him will have their eyes opened by Him. As He broke the bread and passed it to them, they knew Him for the first time. Their eyes were miraculously opened to recognize Him. Jesus allayed their fears, dealt with their doubts, and made His bodily (not merely spiritual) presence unmistakable. The New Testament stresses that Jesus arose and appeared in bodily form: He retained His scars, He could be touched, and He ate. As soon as this happened, He vanished. The Body of Christ was glorified, but He was amongst them and the bread He broke remained bread. Then they retraced the day's journey. No wonder their hearts had burned within them while He talked with them and opened the Scriptures. Their Teacher and Companion had been the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The two from Emmaus were able to report to the other disciples that: 'He walked with us, came into our home, and revealed Himself to us in the breaking of bread.'
People in the first century had trouble believing in a physical resurrection from the dead. Heretics solved the problem by proclaiming that Jesus didn't really die on the cross but only swooned (a recent resurrection of this non-resurrection theory is found in Hugh Schonfield's The Passover Plot). Others claimed he died a normal death and stayed dead (Matthew 28:11-15). Others simply couldn't understand how it could happen and thus became doubters; Saul dealt with this problem in 1 Corinthians 15. But Jesus dealt with it by demonstrating that He was not merely a ghost, a vague "spiritual" entity, but fully present physically, with special capacities not available to un-resurrected persons, such as becoming invisible (v31) and passing through walls (vv36-37; John 20:19-20). Jesus' eating is not to demonstrate the necessity for food, but to demonstrate the reality of His presence. His body, though transcendent, is also tangible. This full body resurrection is vital to the historical claims of Christ and Papal Rome's 'transubstantiation' claims only serve to spiritualise away the truth and leave people at the mercy of one of the most evil and corrupt organisations that was ever formed on this earth.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,  to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Sincerely in Christ Jesus