“I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never go hungry,
and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Jesus remained true to His commitment in the desert that “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). He did feed people when they were hungry but His primary feeding was through His teaching. Again and again He opened people’s understanding to the true meaning of Scripture, and challenged the legalistic and graceless interpretations of the religious leaders. His words and illustrations brought life and hope, and gave people something to guide and nourish them. This is still important for us today, because His teaching is as relevant as it was then. It helps us not only with the focus of our lives but in the individual challenges that we meet along the Way.
However, not only did He bring us the word of God on which to feed, but He came Himself as the Living Word. And so, in the mystery and glory of the Last Supper, He gave Himself in a very meaningful way,
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
He gave Himself, as the true and unblemished sacrificial Lamb, both for us and to us. He took our flawed, sin-guilty lives into Himself and carried them to the cross. In their place He gave us His pure and whole life in which to share. He became not the Bread Maker but the Bread itself, upon whom we feed and who nourishes us in body, mind and spirit. The glorious Sacrament of the Eucharist – the Holy Communion – is one of the ways in which we consciously, by grace and through faith, receive and feed on the deep reality of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, who died that we might have life.
He offers to satisfy the deep spiritual craving inside of every person and He does this in a way that is summed up in one word – love. Whether we are aware of it or not our deepest longing and need is for love – to be loved and to be able to love in an ever deepening, healing and liberating way. God is Love, His revelation in Jesus is love, His promise for the future is love – and His desire is that we should know and receive it.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Jesus alone is the Foundation and Fulfillment of our life. All else is at best a passing pleasure.
Bring your aching needs to the Lord. Let His love be the food that you seek.
Lord Jesus, please enter so fully into my life that I might become one with You. Help me to look to You, receive You and feed on You every day of my life. Amen.