The Bread of Life

KEY VERSE: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever.” —John 6:51

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: John 6:35, 41-54

FROM time immemorial bread and water have universally symbolized that which is essential to life. Thus when our Lord Jesus spoke the words of our Key Verse, he used a figure of speech that would be easily understood in every age and every language.

After the Lord had delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, the people complained to Moses of hunger. The Lord graciously arranged to supply what they needed to preserve life. “Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day. … And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna. … Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.”

It was required of the people that they gather sufficient for but one day’s need, for the manna would not keep over to the following day—it was corruptible. But “some of them left it unto the morning, and it bred worms, and stank.” Nonetheless, the Lord directed Moses to place an omer of the manna in a pot to be placed in the Ark of the Testimony before the Lord “to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.” Obviously, the portion of manna that was placed in the golden pot in the Ark was incorruptible.—Exod. 15:22-27; 16:1-36

At one point in the course of his ministry our Lord Jesus found himself in the presence of a multitude who had followed him because of the miracles which he did through the power of the Holy Spirit, and which served to prove his Sonship. The people were in a mountainous area and without food, and Jesus, from a few small loaves, had the disciples distribute sufficient bread to feed some five thousand men. “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that Prophet that should come into the world.” The next day the people sought him out again. Jesus said, “Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” The people responded, in effect, that Moses had performed a much greater miracle in the wilderness when he fed the entire nation of Israel with manna for forty years. Jesus replied, “Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven [of which the manna was but a picture]. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; … this is the true bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; [but] he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.”

Jesus, indeed, gave his life “as a ransom for all.” He said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” But the Bible speaks of two kinds of life—immortal (deathless) life, and everlasting, or eternal life. The present Gospel Age is the accepted time during which justified believers in the merit of Christ’s sacrifice may run for the prize of the high calling by walking in the sacrificial steps of their Master. If faithful unto death these will gain immortal life like that possessed by Jehovah God and the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus. Jesus said to these through the Revelator, “To him that overcometh will I give the hidden manna,” picturing immortality, as typified by the golden pot of incorruptible manna that was placed in the Ark of the Covenant.—I Tim. 2:5,6; John 6:51; II Cor. 6:2; I Tim. 6:16; I Tim. 1:17; I Cor. 15:53; Matt. 25:46; Phil. 3:14; Heb. 9:4; Rev. 2:17

But let us notice the boundless mercy of our loving Heavenly Father in his provision that, even for the unjust, there is to be an acceptable time to gain life! Jesus said concerning “those who have done evil” that they, too, shall be brought forth from the grave “to the resurrection of judgment.” Jesus was the bread of life for these also! The acceptable time for these to gain everlasting life on the human plane is during the coming millennial reign of Christ, which is described by the Apostle Peter as “the times of restitution.” Truly, Jesus is the bread of God which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the whole world!—Matt. 25:46; Acts 3:19-21

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |