By Robert Halsey Pine
“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:41-51 NRSV).
Spiritual food is necessary nourishment for our relationship with God. Food for our bodies keeps us alive in the natural life, but it cannot do anything for us in reaching God’s kingdom. Spiritual food differs from worldly food in that you can’t overindulge with it. One should never go on a diet by limiting the intake of spiritual food. If we had to choose between natural food and spiritual food, which one would we choose?
Jesus considered His fleshy body as a life-giving “bread” for the children of God. When we partake of the bread at communion, we are uniting ourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior who gave His flesh for the forgiveness of our sins.
He gave His life so that the people of the world might have life. Through His death He became the bread of life. This bread is a gift from God in heaven. Do we let ourselves run short of eggs or milk or bread in our homes? Not intentionally, I’m sure. Do we maintain and use a bit of the bread of life in our homes by praying and meditating on God’s word daily?
The bread of life has had the proper yeast added, and through Christ Jesus it comes down from heaven to keep us alive in the Spirit forever. It transforms our natural death into a celebration of eternal life.
The bread of life that is prepared for us by God through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is the greatest gift that God could give us. If we indulge in it as often as we go to the grocery store, then we will probably be closer to the Lord than we are now.
If we indulge in it as often as we eat out, we will really be making headway. Think about how important it is to have three meals a day on a regular basis. Now, think about the importance of partaking of the bread of life. In which is our hunger greater?
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.