Have you ever heard anyone try to debunk the divinity of the Eucharist by saying it, ”looks like a cracker so it must be a cracker”? I have. This is an odd argument, particularly when it comes from our fellow Christians, since they believe in the incarnation (that is, that Jesus Christ was a real person both 100% human and 100% divine). The incarnation is the key to understanding how bread and wine can become the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our lord Jesus Christ. Let’s look at how.
When Jesus was alive many people used this same logic against him. We find that when he taught at the synagogue in Nazareth the people wouldn’t accept him because he was “Joseph, the carpenter’s, son”. They knew Jesus since he was a boy and were used to him. How could he have divinity? He looks like a human so he must be only a human. Sound familiar?
The Pharases used the same logic. They figured that if they killed Jesus that all of his subversive rhetoric would die with him. They figured that he was just a human, and when humans die they don’t come back to life. They were certain that he was just a man.
Why should we expect the Eucharist to be different from a cracker and wine when the body of Jesus was the same, scientifically, as any other human body? Jesus’ body, the original incarnation, is the model for the Eucharist; the continued incarnation. If we had a hunk of Jesus’ bones or DNA to examine you couldn’t look in a microscope and say “oh yeah, there’s God, right next to the nucleus!” Jesus bled like we bleed, he wept like we weep, he ate and drank like we eat and drink. Jesus looked and acted just like a normal human but we believe he was divine. Catholics treat the Eucharist the same way (because we believe it's the same person, Jesus Christ).
So the next time you hear this “it looks like bread and wine so it must be” stuff, let them know that to use that logic, they must also reject the incarnation of Jesus Christ himself and explain why.