After this interview I was thinking about the possibility of other examples where Jesus uses a present physical object in a purely symbolic sense, and I think we do have some. When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, He told her that she should ask Him for water, and while there was physical water present, the real point Jesus is making is that she needs non-physical water which is representative of new life in the Holy Spirit. Jesus also manifested bread for the crowd but told them that this was food that perishes and they need food that gives everlasting life. He goes on to show that this food is belief in Jesus.
Even in the favorite passage for those who promote transubstantiation (John 6), Jesus adds the clarity/commentary that the flesh profits nothing and the Spirit gives life. This is not merely saying the word “spirit” means “symbolism”; rather, it is saying that “spirit” is not “flesh” and cannot be interpreted to mean “my physical body being eaten by you.” A whole lot more can and should be said about all this, but I hope that the above answer will be seen as offering strong support simply for the fact that the Jewish context of the Last Supper is such that we should conclude symbolic meaning in the act and not transubstantiation.
This is just one question from a long interview I did for the moderators of the r/Bible subreddit. They asked their subreddit to send me a bunch of questions and I spent a lot of time preparing so that I would be able to offer the best answers I could. I’ll be posting these answers as individual videos, so keep an eye out for the rest in the set.