Jesus, The Bread of Life

Bubba Garner
When the children of Israel cried in hunger during the wilderness wanderings, the Lord heard them and satisfied their needs. He rained down from a heaven a bread-like substance, called manna, that fed them for 40 years until they crossed the Jordan and ate the produce of the Promised Land. But this would not be the last time that Jehovah provided spiritual food for His people.

Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever” (John 6:51). In keeping with Paul’s statement that the Old Testament is our tutor that leads us to Christ (Gal. 3:24), there are some striking similarities between Jesus, the bread of life, and manna, the bread of heaven.

He is God-given. The manna could not be grown or manufactured by any artificial means; neither can the Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son” (John 3:16). Jesus is the manifestation of the unconditional love of the Father to a people who didn’t and don’t deserve Him. And if you reject the Gift, you reject the Giver.

He is provision. When the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings” (Exodus 3:7). The living God is mindful of His people and capable of rescuing them from their distress and supplying their needs for survival. Remember when Abraham told Isaac that God would provide the lamb? He did. And He took away the sins of the world.

He is nourishment. While the bread from heaven sustained the nation’s hunger in the desert, Jesus furnishes our soul’s hunger and thirst for righteousness. He gives sustenance to a sin-sick world starving for salvation and satisfies our appetite in such a way that we are completely filled. “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die” (John 6:49-50).

He is sole deliverance. There were no other alternatives to the manna. If you did not get up and collect your share every morning (except for the Sabbath), you were without food for the day. Jesus is the Lamb of God that was offered “once for all” (Heb 10:10). If you do not go to the cross for the remission of your sins, then there is no remission. If Jesus is not your Savior, then you are without one, for there is salvation in no other name but His. With my apologies to brother Bowman—if you miss Jesus, you’ve just missed all there is.

After finishing this controversial message that required His disciples to eat His flesh and drink His blood, many people left Jesus and walked with Him no more. He turned to the twelve and asked, “do you want to go away, too?” Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69). Who can argue with such a statement of faith and conviction? Let us partake of this same Bread of Life who sustains us, satisfies us, and saves us. He is the only bread on which man can live alone.