Summary: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51)
Bread was the most common food in the Middle East in Bible times just as it is in the world today. A major problem facing many people in the world today is malnutrition, starvation, and death. Many experts attribute the problem to global warming and the change in the rainfall pattern. This, they claim, is the reason for the increasing wild fires, floods and drought affecting many areas around the world. The situation is made worse through conflicts and war, through bad economic management, through bribery and corruption, and through greed and wastage. A recent survey has established that all the left-over food that is being thrown away by restaurants, hotels and shops alone can feed all the malnourished, starving and dying people in the world. A concerned world, a world where love is not just a word but a way of life, has the resources to feed all malnourished and starving people in the world. The world, however, does not only need physical nourishment, it also needs spiritual nourishment. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16) Christ is our Living Bread and offers eternal life to every spiritual malnourished and starving person who comes to Him.
Step One: Give us our daily bread
a) Bread to feed the body
Bread is an essential need. We need bread to feed the physical body. The Lord is the source of all are needs and Jesus taught us to pray “Give us this day our daily bread”. When one is hungry enough he will go to great lengths and do all that it takes to find food.
b) The Living Bread to give life
There is also a spiritual hunger that craves to be met that is different from physical hunger. We are spirit, we possess a soul and we live in a body. All of us are born spiritually dead for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. (Rom 3:23) This spiritual hunger craves for the life that only Jesus Christ, the Living Bread and the source of eternal life, can give.
c) The Bread of life to sustain life
Man’s spirit that is spiritually alive is holy and perfect. His soul, his thinking, will and emotions however, need to be renewed and sustained. “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Mat. 4:4) We need the Word of God to renew the mind and sustain spiritual growth and wellbeing.
God has made provision to sustain the whole man. He has made provision to sustain the body since man needs it to live on earth. God provides what man needs but man, created in God’s image with the power of choice, decides what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. He must make wise choices that will take care of his body. A healthy body is important if man is to enjoy the quality of life that glorifies God. Most people, however, have developed appetites for the wrong food. They prefer the sugary delicacies of cakes, sweets and deserts. They prefer hormone and antibiotic reared animals fed on special processed foods laced with chemical ingredients to animals fed on grass. They prefer genetic modified grains, fruits, and vegetables to genetic pure varieties. This eating disorder affects our health and leads to a myriad of sicknesses, diseases and cancers. There is a wise saying that we eat to live and not live to eat. Many people live to eat and end up being overweight and obese. Overweight and obesity accounts for most Cardio-vascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and various cancers. There are also eating disorders that leads to severe weight loss known as anorexia and bulimia. Those suffering from these diseases, mainly women, feel rejected by the way they look and believe that weight loss is the solution. These eating disorders are the result of wrong thinking and wrong believing.
Wrong thinking and wrong believing have also led to a spiritual eating disorder that prefers food that leads to death to food that leads to life. What appears to satisfy only to lead to death cannot be compared in any way to the Living bread that truly satisfies and leads to life.
Step Two: The Living Bread
a) Christ is the living bread
Christ is the Living Bread and declares, “I am the bread of life.” Jesus Christ, by using the revealed name of God “Yahweh” “I Am Who I Am”, to describe who He is, was declaring He is God and the source of life.
b) Christ died to give life
Christ, the Son of God and the source of life, died to give us life. He who was without sin, took our sin and was made sin and judged for our sin. On the Cross He bore the judgement of God on sin through His suffering and death to pay the penalty for sin “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom 6:23)