“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me with never be thirsty.”” John 6: 35 NIV
Unleavened bread like may have been used at the Passover meal.
Jesus told His disciples, the people of His time and us, who He was on many different occasions. Here, He says, “I am the bread of life;” plain, simple and straight to the point. Bread is a necessity of survival, of life, it sustains life. Manna, the bread supplied by God, sustained the Israelites in the wilderness. Bread was one of the offerings to be given daily at the Tabernacle and the Temple. Daily bread was asked for in the prayer Jesus modeled for us.
Bread is a must have. I began this idea with the study of the Passover meal that Jesus and His disciples would have shared just before His sacrifice on the cross. I work with an after-school program at our church and we were going to re-enact the Last Supper as part of our Pre-Easter activities. There would have been a re-telling of the Exodus story. Then the wine would be shared as the “cup of blessings” and the “cup of plagues”.
Three pieces of unleavened bread would have been put out. In keeping with tradition the top one represented God, the bottom one was the people of Israel, and the middle one was the High Priest (the mediator between man and God). The next tradition is a bit unusual; the middle piece was broken in half and half was hidden in the room to be “found”. Next was the meal, the Seder plate with all the representative foods of the Exodus story.
Then the hidden bread would have been found. It is possible that this found piece, the middle piece which represented the Priest-mediator, was the bread broken and passed to His disciples as the symbol of His broken body. Jesus is the great mediator between us and His Father, God. Then the wine in the “cup of redemption” was to be passed. This was the “blood” of the new covenant. This is the history of our communion.
The Passover had been celebrated for over 1400 years before Jesus was even born. This was one of the required festivals that the Israelites were commanded to observe each year. How amazing is God’s timing? That Jesus, the Lamb of God, should be sacrificed at the Passover, to save not only God’s chosen people, but all of us from sin and death by becoming “the way” to God, our Father.
During this Lent season, let’s all marvel at God’s remarkable plan for the salvation of His children. Just as Jesus was in creation, so is Jesus in the Passover story, as the ultimate mediator, the redeemer, the Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for us. Jesus is the “bread” of our lives. He gives us life (eternal), He sustains us, He offers us before God, He is our life.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me during this holy season to discover Jesus, our bread of life, in the Passover traditions and the Last Supper.
Blessings as you look to Jesus, the bread of life for all of your needs!
Prayers for all the people in our world, our country, our states, our communities and our families as we deal with this new global pandemic.