The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (Gen. 3:6, NLT)
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (Matt. 26:26)
When Jesus takes the bread in to his hands, breaks it, and says to his disciples, “Take and eat; this is my body,” the connection to Eve’s moment of “taking and eating” of the fruit in the garden becomes clear. As W.S. LaSor says about that awful moment in the garden, “So drastic the results…so hard the undoing.” The work that Jesus was preparing to do on the cross, the awful reckoning that would soon happen after this evening meal, was a type of reversal of the “work” of sin that happened at the fall.
When we, as believers, partake in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (bread and wine, the earthly symbols of communion standing as a reminder of this), we accept the reversal of the curse through Him. This thought is mysterious because it is a spiritual work, but one that I’m in the throes of experiencing and continue to understand in an ever-unveiling kind of way. This exchange is holy and yet, it has tangible effects, like something invisible that moves over the water, causing ripples for as far as the eye can see.
The word pictures used throughout the New Testament encouraging us to “stay rooted” and “remain in Me” and “remain in the vine” look different when we consider that being in Christ means taking on His nature- one that was sacrificial. Our culture wants to entice us with the promise of a return for ourselves (what’s in it for me?) but if we “take and eat” the body and work of Christ, then we are taking on the sacrificial nature of the lamb. Do we even understand this?
Because we are all complicit in that early scene of temptation- my desire for self-awareness was there, my urge to know it all and be the center of everything was there, and so was yours- we require one to reverse the thing that happened. Jesus takes the loaf of bread, tears off a piece, extends an invitation. Take and eat.
When we come to the table, it is a serious exchange, but one that ultimately leads to the resurrected life.