In order to survive our bodies require a certain amount of nourishment each day. One of the substances that provide us the nourishment that we need is bread. Bread comes to us in many interesting shapes and flavors and has often been referred to as the staff of life because it is perhaps the most important item in our diet.
In Biblical times and throughout the Dark Ages, bread was even more important. It did not spoil rapidly, was easily transported, was inexpensive, and the grain from which it was prepared could be stored for years making it possible to prepare bread in any season and climate.
To give some idea of the benefit we get from flour and bread, a government survey has shown that flour and bread are a great source of starch and provide us with more energy value, more protein, more iron, more nicotinic acid and more vitamin B1 than any other basic food. Bread is also a source of calories which provide heat and energy for our body to use now and in the future. And none of this energy content is wasted by the body; unused energy is stored in body tissue for future use for what we know as fat. Unused calories are stored as fat for use in the future whenever the body’s energy level is low or depleted. The actual energy comes from the starch which is a type of carbohydrate. Starch is converted by our body into sugars which become the fuel that enables us to walk, run, and play. And so, as we can see, bread is a very important part of our daily nutritional intake. Therefore, a balanced diet to keep us strong and healthy in mind and body must always contain this staff of life.
Physical bread is indeed necessary and important for sustaining our lives, but the most important “Bread of Life” comes to us from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through God’s Word and the Holy Spirit which replenishes us. In John 6:33 we read these words, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Continuing in verse 35 we read, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” And again, in verse 48 of that same chapter, we hear the Savior reemphasize the point when He says, “I am that bread of life.”
Jesus Christ is the “Bread of Life” and the daily bread we need even more than physical bread. In John 6:51 the Savior taught us, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”Therefore, we are to live each day of our lives with Christ dwelling in us.In John 17:23 we read, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
25 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.
26 And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.
This was also the source of the Apostle Paul’s strength as he wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” And in Philippians 4:11-13 we hear Paul say,
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
It is correct and proper to ask for our daily provisions – “our daily bread” – and to ask God’s blessings upon them, but it is even more important to realize that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is the “Bread of Life” that we truly need to sustain our lives. We are reminded of this each Sabbath day as we partake of the bread of the Sacrament which represents our Lord’s body that was broken for us as He hung upon the cruel Roman cross on Golgotha’s Hill.
The Savior taught us in Luke 12:23, “The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.” He was referring, of course, to needing spiritual sustenance more than physical bread. God’s Word, provides the “sustenance” we need to be spiritually nourished.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread (John 6:32-34).
~ Keith Lionel Brown © 2014