Jesus called Himself “the bread of life.” Have you ever wondered what this means? I did – especially as we who are Christ followers celebrate Easter this weekend.
Bread is something that satisfies and quenches the appetite. After you have had bread (gluten-free in my case!), you should feel better and more satisfied than you were before, and not distracted by the pangs of hunger that you previously experienced. When I apply this image to Jesus, it makes sense to me in a way, but I am still left with another question: Why didn’t He simply say “I am the bread” – rather than “I am the bread of life“?
My short answer is “I don’t know,” but I do have a working hypothesis:
I think we live in a world with lots of different kinds of “spiritual bread,” but sadly, they are the bread of death (the equivalent of spiritual doughnuts – all glaze and sparkle on the outside, no nourishment within, and a gaping hole in the middle!). The bread of death seems to be filling at the time, but shortly after tasting it, the familiar spiritual hunger and thirst return. However, the more you eat of it, the hungrier and thirstier you get, and things get worse spiritually (and maybe even circumstantially) before they get better.
Thankfully, the God of the Bible is not this way! Jesus Himself said that He is the resurrection and the life – in Him there is no death or darkness. He guides us, satisfies the longing of our hearts (if we let Him. It’s challenging work, but He’ll faithfully clear away any rubbish that shouldn’t be there), and brings a sense of wholeness and purpose to our lives.
In fact, the Lord is the only One who can make such a claim, and the evidence supporting His life-changing influence can be found in the legions of people all over the world who have found peace, joy, purpose, and yes – satisfaction! – simply by walking with Him each day.
This is good news and surely is a reason to be hopeful, because true biblical hope is a Person (rather than some abstract philosophical concept) who will never leave us or forsake us. Ever.
Happy Resurrection Day, everyone! ✝️