But in John 1:14 is the key to understanding what Jesus was referring to. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. So when Jesus refered to eating is flesh and drinking his blood he was referring to the Word of God, the bible. When we read, study and meditate on the Word we are entering into communion with the Lord in Spirit.
I have a hard time with that line of reasoning because I can't reconcile it with the actual words of John 6.
Jesus used very explicit words, and the Jews understood him literally. Jesus starts off using the Greek phago
("to eat") (Jn 6:49, 50, 52, 53), the typical word for eating, but one which can carry a symbolic meaning. But the Jews, having understood Him literally, are disturbed. Interestingly, Jesus ALWAYS explained things to the disciples. Jesus knows they are grumbling, so He changes verbs. He uses the Greek trogo
(Jn 6:54, 56, 57, 58) which has the more vivid meaning "to chew, to gnaw" and so far as I can tell, is never used symbolically. Jesus did not say "You knuckleheads, you took me literally." He explained his meaning by moving away from any potentially symbolic meaning and vividly towards the literal. This is the reverse of his general method of teaching, and a clear indication that he meant himself to be taken quite literally. In other words, "Hey, I really meant it!" This is the only time disciples left him over a doctrinal issue.
And at the time of the Last Supper, there were over three dozen Aramaic words to say "this means," "represents," or "signifies," but Jesus used none of them. He said, "This is my body."
Now, imagine how much insight we could gain if we could speak with St. John himself and ask him what he understood our Lord to mean. Well, this is exactly what the Fathers of the Church were able to do. St. Ignatius of Antioch was a disciple of St. John, and St. Ignatius is not silent on the subject. He writes:
"They [the non-orthodox] do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior, Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins in which the Father in His goodness raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes." (Letter to the Smyrnaeans; 6:27:1; 110 AD)
This is further underscored by the "Lord's supper" ritual mentioned in I Cor. It is not about Passover or a Jewish rite of unleavened bread. Paul is literally talking about the "Lord's supper". It occurs whenever the church gathers. It is an accurate summation of the Catholic liturgy of the Eucharist "after the order of Melchisedek".
1 Cor 10:16 - "The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?"
1 Cor 10:17 - "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread."
Further, in 1 Cor 11:20-22 Paul explicitly mocks those who treat the Lord's supper as a common meal in fellowship. And in 1 Cor 11:27 Paul makes clear that eating the bread unworthily is akin to killing Christ. How can this be so if the Lord's supper is "the intaking of the Living Word of God, [the Bible] into us"? Aren't the very people who should be taking in the Bible, by definition, unworthy? "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick."
However, I do think you are only a few verses off from the key. John 1:29 is absolutely beautiful. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Even my meager grasp of its transcendent grace devastates me beyond words. Which is why I would simply refer you back to Ex. 12:5-7 to see that it is necessary for Christians to eat the paschal lamb.
Jesus used very explicit words, and the Jews understood him literally. Jesus starts off using the Greek phago ("to eat") (Jn 6:49, 50, 52, 53), the typical word for eating, but one which can carry a symbolic meaning.
I agree that why Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedith from the mouth of God.
Just because it is spiritual does not mean that it not literal. Something to think about.