Summary: Why bread is a symbol of His death
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread” (1 Cor. 11:23).
A. Why Bread is a Symbol of His Death
1. Death. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24).
2. Beat to separate the kernel from the husk (chaff). “Chaff which the wind drives away” (Ps. 1:4). “Took Jesus and scourged him” (John 19:1).
4. Grind. “Take the millstones and grind meal” (Isa. 47:2). “They smote Him on the head with a rod and did spit upon Him” (Mark 15:19). “For the suffering of death . . . taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9).
5. Heat. “If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the Lord . . . roasted in the fire” (Lev. 2:14). “And when they had crucified Him” (Mark 15:24).
B. What Should We Remember From Bread
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).
1. Remember by picture. “He took bread.”
2. Remember His purpose. “Gave thanks,” also “it pleased the Father to bruise Him” (Isa. 53:10).
3. Remember His suffering. “Broke it.”
4. Remember the recipients. “Gave it to them.”
5. Remember the substitution. “This is My body,” also “I am crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:2).
6. Remember by obedience. “Do this.”
7. Focus on memorial. “In remembrance of Me.”
a. Not transubstantiation, the Roman Catholics believe the bread becomes the body of Christ.
b. Not consubstantiation, the Lutherans believe that the presence of Christ is in the bread, as the presence of firs is in the iron when heated over coals.
c. We teach the bread is a picture/symbol of the death of Christ. We eat in remembrance of His body which was broken for us.
C. What Natural Meaning Can We Get From Bread?
1. Life. Bread is called the “staff of life” i.e., the source of living. “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Gen. 3:19). “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11).
2. Satisfaction. “Satisfied them with bread” (Ps. 105:40).
3. Strength. “Set a piece of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength” (1 Sam. 28:22).
4. Enjoy. “To eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor” (Ec. 5:18).
D. What Spiritual Meaning Can We Get From Bread?
“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
1. Bread of eternal life. Jesus had fed 5000 with physical bread and they would hunger again. But Jesus offers bread and those who eat “shall never hunger” and “everyone . . . and believes in Him may have everlasting life” (John 6:40). “He who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life” (John 6:47-48).
2. Bread of resurrection life. “Everyone who . . . believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
3. Bread of indwelling life. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you . . . He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (John 6:53, 56).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
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Dr. Towns' email is ELTowns@liberty.edu
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com