There are many mandates in the Torah about cleanliness and food. Basically, it all boils down to this: if you eat something unclean, you become unclean for a time, therefore unworthy to enter the presence of God during that period of time. An unclean person was prohibited from taking any part of the holy sacrifice.
You see, the mixing of the holy and the filthy in one human body was an absolute outrage. How could anything unworthy dare to come before the holy God, right? In reality, though, it wasn’t about the food. Jesus said this:
“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”–Matthew 16:11
The real issue was the heart. The priests in the Tabernacle had to make a conscious effort to remain clean, and they knew that it pleased God. When done correctly, the abstinence from unclean things was evidence of a pure heart towards God.
But unlike food, some things get inside your mind and stick. Jesus said that the eyes are the lamp of the body. Healthy eyes, ones that gaze on good things, will produce a body full of light. Gazing on darkness, finding pleasure in it, will fill you with darkness. Those are the two choices we have.
Taking all these things into account, we arrive at the command of Jesus to, as often as we will, eat His flesh and drink His blood. We eat the Eucharist because it is Him. Through the Holy Communion, we gaze on Him, remembering everything He has done for us. It’s not the food; it’s our heart. It’s our eyes that fill that heart with light. When we remember Him and believe, we are holy as He is.
How quickened is our will? How periodically do we desire an audience with Him? How fixed is our gaze? How much can we possibly add to the light inside, the nature inside of us? I, for one, must try to find out.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”–2 Peter 1:3-4