I am the Bread of Life
Published 11:00 am Sunday, October 23, 2022
“I am the bread which came down from heaven … I am the bread of life … He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” — John 6:41, 48, 56, NKJV
These verses, and other similar verses, are often misunderstood and taken as a literal physical proposal. In verse 63, Jesus speaks to this “hard saying” and says, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
From this we are to understand that Jesus is making a distinct spiritual reference when He speaks of His flesh and Blood. The indication is that we are to take Him, His life and death (flesh and blood) into ourselves, eating, if you will, the example of His life and teachings as our bread of life.
We are to also absorb into our heart the fact of His crucifixion and death, trusting that the offer of forgiveness for our sins and salvation, that is the goal and result of His death, are freely offered as sustenance (bread) for our spirit and soul.
The metaphors of “bread of life” and “living water” are used several times in reference to Jesus. In my mind He is telling us that His teachings are to be fed upon, His ministry is to be absorbed into ourselves, and His very presence is to reside within us as the “perfect spiritual food.” When we take the bread and the cup by faith, we remember and celebrate His life and death, His flesh and blood. It is our Christian duty to “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Cor. 11:26).
The next time we take Holy Communion, we should treat the elements as the spiritual nourishment for the soul that Jesus intended. Trusting that His sacrifice was ultimately for the provision of that bread of life for all that would come in faith to dine at His table.
Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired Methodist preacher.