The bread Jesus ate would have been the unleavened bread that the Jews used in the Passover meal. The blessing Jesus pronounced was a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the bread, not a consecration of the bread itself. People, not places or things, are always the objects of blessings in the Bible. Jesus" distribution of the bread to the disciples was more significant than His breaking of it. By passing it to them He symbolically shared Himself with them. When Jesus said, "This is my body," He meant the bread represented His body (cf. Luke 12:1; John 6:32-35). The disciples could hardly have eaten the literal flesh of Jesus since He was standing among them. Moreover the Jews abhorred eating human flesh and did not drink even animal blood much less human blood (cf. Leviticus 3:17; Leviticus 7:26-27; Leviticus 17:10-14). [source]
"The bitter herbs served to recall the bitterness of slavery, the stewed fruit, which possessed the consistency and color of clay, evoked the making of bricks as slaves, while the paschal lamb provided a reminder of God"s gracious "passing over" of Israel in the plague of death that came to Egypt." [source]
Mark 14:17-31 - The Last Supper
The two disciples made their preparations, returned to Bethany, and later the whole company came in together. The simple meal, consisting of the Passover lamb, unleavened cakes, bitter herbs, and wine, proceeded in the usual way, interspersed with the singing of the Hallel, Psalms 113:1-9; Psalms 114:1-8; Psalms 115:1-18; Psalms 116:1-19; Psalms 117:1-2; Psalms 118:1-29. How well it is when we do not need the accusation, "Thou art the man," because we utter the inquiry, Is it I? Those whose hearts misgive them are not likely to commit the deed of treachery. At the institution of the Lord's Supper, Mark 14:22-25, Jesus gave thanks for the bread and the wine, Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24. We must understand His words in Mark 14:22 in the same sense as when He says, "I am the door of the sheep." Those who receive the outward elements worthily partake, at the same time, spiritually of the things which they signify. Let us never fail to remember at the Lord's Supper, that it is the sign and seal of the new covenant into which God has entered with Christ on our behalf. See Hebrews 8:1-13. For Mark 14:27 compare Zechariah 13:7. The energy of our own resolution is not enough to carry us through the supreme ordeals of trial. We need the Holy Spirit for that. Mark alone mentions the warning of the double cockcrow. [source]
Chapter Summary: Mark 14
1A conspiracy against Jesus 3Expensive perfume is poured on his head by a woman 10Judas sells his Master for money 12Jesus himself foretells how he will be betrayed by one of his disciples; 22after the passover prepared, and eaten, institutes his last supper; 26declares beforehand the flight of all his disciples, and Peter's denial 43Judas betrays him with a kiss 46Jesus is apprehended in the garden; 53falsely accused and impiously condemned of the council; 65shamefully abused by them; 66and thrice denied by Peter
What do the individual words in Mark 14:22 mean?
Andthey were eatingof themhaving takenbreadhaving spoken a blessingHe brokegaveto themsaidTakethisisthebodyof Me