27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. (RSV)
Cait: Why does unworthily receiving the bread and wine amount to profaning the body and blood? Because the bread and wine are the body and blood.
Cait: Suppose that I defaced a painting of the president. Would I be guilty of profaning his body? Could a judge find me guilty of a crime against his body? No. Likewise, if the bread and wine were mere symbols, we would only be guilty of profaning the symbol, not of profaning His actual body. If we profane the bread, we profane the body. If we receive the bread, we receive the body. That this is truly Christ’s body is made even more explicit in verse 29.