“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51 NKJV).
All through their forty years journey in the wilderness en route the Promised Land, the children of Israel lived on manna, the bread from heaven. Beyond the immediate purpose of the manna as sustenance for their body, the manna was also intended to serve as a type or representation of Jesus Christ, the Living Bread.
By raining down manna or bread from heaven to sustain the children of Israel in the wilderness, God was obviously preparing their hearts to receive by faith “the Living Bread” He would send in the fullness of time.
The children of Israel had to go out of the camp every morning except on the Sabbath day to gather the manna. Apparently, God was teaching them to depend absolutely on His Word, to wholly trust in His gracious provision.
Moses clearly recalled this great lesson when they were at the border of the Promised Land in Deuteronomy 8, saying,
2 “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
3 “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (NKJV).
The bread God gave the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years was physical bread intended primarily for their physical sustenance in the wilderness. The physical bread only supplied their physical need, but not their spiritual need.
However, the Living Bread God has sent down from heaven is to meet all our needs (spiritual, physical, emotional or otherwise) today. It is therefore infinitely greater and better than the bread the children of Israel ate in the wilderness for forty years and died afterwards.
When the Lord Jesus came into the world, He aptly introduced Himself as “the Living Bread.” Jesus announced loud and clear publicly to the Jews in John 6, saying,
48 “I am the bread of life.
49 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.
51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (NKJV).
Unlike the physical bread the children of Israel ate in the wilderness which could only meet their physical need or sustain their physical well-being for a short while, the Living Bread (the Lord Jesus) that God is offering us freely today could meet all our needs.
The Living Bread is for our complete well-being. He is for our spiritual, physical, mental or emotional well-being, not only for a while but for eternity.
Jesus assures, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51 NKJV).
Like the physical bread, the Living Bread is also a gracious provision of God. No labour, good work or righteousness was required for the children of Israel to receive and eat the physical bread from heaven for their physical nourishment or sustenance in the wilderness.
All that was required of the children of Israel was faith in God’s provision. They went out of the camp every morning in faith to gather the manna, trusting God that the provision would be available.
Similarly, the Living Bread (Jesus Christ) is God’s gracious provision for the salvation of mankind. No labour, good work or righteousness is required by God for anyone to receive and feed on the Living Bread.
All that God require is faith in the gracious provision for our salvation that He has sent or made available. Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29 NKJV).
Salvation is purely by grace alone through faith alone in God’s gracious provision, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Scripture states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9 NKJV).
Along their journey to the Promised Land, the children of Israel detested and rejected the bread from heaven provided by God to sustain them in the wilderness.
The Scripture records that they yielded to intense craving, weeping and saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; “but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” (Num. 11:4-6 NKJV).
Although the children of Israel got what they lusted for after detesting and rejecting God’s bread from heaven, yet they perished in the wilderness.
The Scripture records, “But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was aroused against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague.” (Num. 11:33 NKJV).
What a warning today to all those who are rejecting Christ, the Living Bread!
There is no substitute for the Living Bread (Jesus Christ) that God has sent from heaven to give us eternal life. Therefore, anyone who detests and rejects Jesus Christ as God’s gracious provision for His salvation will die in his sins and face the wrath of God afterwards.
Jesus warns, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24 NKJV).
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:53-54 NKJV).
Beloved, don’t be like the ungrateful and ungodly children of Israel who perished in the wilderness because they despised and rejected the bread from heaven, craving for food from the earth.
Choosing not to put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (the Living Bread) for your salvation is simply choosing and embracing eternal death – eternal separation from God in hell fire. Why?
Because Jesus Christ is the only Living Bread from heaven sent by God to give eternal life to all mankind!
The Scripture states, “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:33 NKJV).
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12 NKJV).
It is only in Christ Jesus, not in any saints, angels, religions, or religious laws, rules or rites, that you can find eternal life. Nothing of this world can completely sustain or satisfy your entire being except Jesus Christ, the Living Bread from heaven.
Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35 NKJV).
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:47-48 NKJV).
Friend, feed on Jesus Christ, the Living Bread, today and always!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, as the Living Bread into the world. I acknowledge and receive Jesus Christ today as my Living Bread. Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to feed continually on this Living Bread from heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.