1 Kings 19:4-8, Ephesians 4:25, John 6:41-51
The Bible draws many analogies from the natural world to teach lessons about spiritual reality. Light, darkness, water, etc. Bread is one of the commonly used analogies from the natural world which speaks to spiritual reality. Jesus indicates in John 6:51 that He is “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.”
Bread in the natural signifies food. We eat to to live. We eat to have strength. We eat for nourishment. We eat to satisfy hunger. In the wilderness, after Elijah has run away from Jezebel’s threat for fear of his life, he was constantly supplied with food for his physical nourisment and strength.
And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.(1 Kings 19:7-8).
Note vs 8 carefully. Elijah “went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights”. Physically, he was strengthened by food. He was nourished by food. He ate to live in order to continue his assignment. If bread gives nourishment and life to the physical body, the “the living bread” who is Christ gives the spiritual food we need for spiritual life, strength and nourishment. He is the “living bread” because He gives eternal life to sinners who are separated from God by sin. He reconciles sinners dead in sin to God.(Rom 3:23, 2 Cor 5:19).
Spiritually, without Christ, there is a gulf between us and God. We all deserve eternal damnation. But “the living bread”—Jesus Christ– administers life to all who through faith in Him will come to God to satisfy their spiritual hunger. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. Then in John 1:1, we are told Jesus is the Word incarnate.
Saint Augustine rightly described this spiritual gulf, void and hunger when he said in his Confessions,
You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.
Indeed our hearts are restless till they find rest in God. Because God created us for Himself and for His glory. The only satisfaction we will have in life is satisfaction derived from the source of our lives — the Word of God, the Fountain of Living Water, the Living bread, our sin Bearer, our Advocate and the Mediator between God and man.
It is to Jesus we must turn, for without Him, we can do nothing(Jn 15:5). In Him we live and move and have our being(Acts 17:28). We are the sheep of His pasture(Ps. 100:3). We are the branches abiding in the True Vine(Jn 15:4). All other sources of satisfaction are pale in the face of God’s immense provision for satisfaction of our souls.
O! may our hearts be nourished by God’s Word: The Living Bread. Sex won’t do. Alcohol won’t do. Illicit drugs and relationships won’t do. We will find true and lasting satisfaction only if we will turn to God who loves us and came down in human form in the person of Jesus Christ to die to reconcile us to himself. He is the living bread. He is the one with authority given to Him to forgive sins and justify all who will come to Him.
Don’t fill up that void with anything else apart from a lasting, loving relationship with the Living Bread; Jesus the Son of the Living God.
Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer.
Pilgrim through this barren land. I am weak but Thou art mighty. Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven.
Feed me till I want no more. Feed me till I want n