Early on, Jesus miraculously fed thousands by making bread appear. Huge crowds of people followed him -- and why wouldn't they? It was a free lunch :-)
He responds with a hard teaching that foreshadowed his death and turned people away. He taught that he himself was a living bread that was sent from Heaven (John 6:22ff). At first people were excited that they might get more free bread, but as Jesus taught, it because clear that he wasn't talking about a meal, but himself. "Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."
The crowds stopped following him. He overstepped reason. He was asking for a commitment that would require the crowds to agree that he was sent from Heaven and was the source of life. That was just too hard for them to believe. Many people were following Jesus, but they didn't spend time with him. When the following got hard, there was no relationship, and they left.
Are we following Jesus or spending time with Him? Do we look to get things from Jesus like bread, spiritual satisfaction, and reassurance? Or do we follow because we know he's God? Jesus generally doesn't ask for easy things, but hard things. It is difficult to let ourselves die unless we trust that Jesus is there to catch us.
The act of communion - taking bread and drink as Christ's body and blood is a declaration of this Truth. Believers everywhere acknowledge Jesus as God by eating His body which was broken for us... broken for me. And by drinking His blood which was shed for us... shed for me.
This is part of a series: Reflections.