Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Bread of Life

UV 2244/10000 The Bread of Life
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.
John 6 v 35

Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread that came from heaven. He referred to His body as the Bread and His blood as the wine. The bread that came from heaven was called manna in the Old Covenant days. That manna did not last beyond a day. It was perishable and had virtually no shelf life. But Jesus is the eternal manna, Bread that is not perishable. He is the Bread that will never become spoilt, stale or out-dated. Every day of our lives and for the rest of eternity, Jesus satisfies us by His words, actions and what He had done in history. He is the Bread in our afflictions or the One who strengthens us and sustains us during our times of trouble. The account of the biblical hero Gideon talks of a dream seen by the guards of the enemy camp – a roll of bread hitting the enemy camp and flattening it. Likewise, Jesus is the Bread of Victory who flattens the enemy camp and gives us complete victory in our lives. In the Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be satisfied.” That promise is fulfilled in His body being broken on the cross and His blood shed on the cross. Every human being has an inner hunger and thirst for righteousness or being right with God. That hunger is for justification or being declared right with God. The thirst is for a sense of personal righteousness in conformity with the image of God.

Faith in Jesus and feeding on His word provides food and drink for our souls. It strengthens us from within. It nourishes us. It enables us to do the will of the Lord in our lives. Our hunger and thirst for righteousness cannot be fulfilled by merely doing a lot of good deeds. The absolute level of righteousness or perfection of the Lord cannot be attained by any man. But Jehovah Tsidkenu or Jehovah Our Righteousness provides for our justification and righteousness through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. Mere belief in the provision of righteousness by faith and grace satisfies our hunger and thirst for righteousness. We are declared righteous by faith before the Lord. The communion of bread and wine is an external symbol of this internal change in our lives.

Having been declared righteous by the Lord, we are now in a state of eternal blessedness as promised in the beatitudes of Jesus. We are now inheritors of the precious life-giving, life enabling promises of the Lord. We now have a responsibility to also do our best to be righteous in actual point of fact in terms of our attitudes, speech, conduct, actions and contribution. In this state of blessedness combined with responsiveness on our part, nine rivers of blessing flow from our hearts outward to others- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. Faith then is a coin with two sides: our response to the facts, claims and promises of Jesus and our responsiveness to His teachings and commands.

Prateep V Philip

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