Pictures of Christ: The Manna

 

Exodus 16:1-36

Exodus 16 should always be read in connection with John 6, for the manna from heaven is a type of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. Jesus also noted that manna illustrates the written Word of God on which God’s pilgrim people feed from day to day (Matt. 4:4).

 1st Jesus was greater than manna . When Jesus called Himself “the Living Bread,” He was not claiming to be exactly like the manna. He was claiming to be even greater!

 

 Old Testament Manna

Jesus the Bread of Life

  1. Manna could only sustained life for the Jews
  1. but Jesus offers endless life to the whole world.
  1. Even though the Jews ate the daily manna they   eventually died

2.       but when you receive Jesus Christ within, you live forever.

  1. When God gave the manna, He gave only a gift
  1. but when Jesus came, He gave Himself.

4.       There was no cost to God in sending the manna each day

  1. but when He gave His Son it cost Him everything.
  1. The Jews had to eat the manna every day
  1. but the sinner who trusts Christ once is given eternal life.
  1. Those that   ate manna hungered again, died at last, and with many of them God was not well-pleased
  1. But all that feed on Christ by faith shall never hunger, and shall never die, and with them God will be for ever well pleased.

 

1st Manna PICTURES Christ's COMING  

1.      In Exodus 16:1-3 we see that manna came to a rebellious people. They murmured against Moses and against God (Exodus15:22–27). Verse 4 could well have read, “I will rain fire and brimstone upon those ungrateful sinners!” But, no, God proved His love toward them by raining bread upon them. See Rom. 5:6–8. JESUS CHRIST CAME TO A LOST WORLD BECAUSE GOD SO LOVED HE GAVE.
2.      In Exodus 16: 4 we see manna was not from anywhere on earth, it came down from God above. JESUS CHRIST CAME FROM ABOVE (John 6:33) as the Father’s gift to hungry sinners.
3.      In Exodus 16:13a we see that manna arrived during the night because it was out there first thing in the morning”.   JESUS CHRIST CAME TO A SIN BLACKENED WORLD. It was night when Jesus was born, for He came to be the Light of the World (John 8:12). And it is still night in the hearts of all who have rejected Him (2 Cor. 4:1–4). Also as Luke records Jesus came as the sunrise on our sin blackened world   Luke 1:78-79 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” NKJV
4.      In Exodus 16:13b-14 we see that manna was supernaturally unique in its origin and delivery. The picture of manna atop the dew, not touching the ground as the dew lay - when the layer lifted”. JESUS CHRIST CAME TO EARTH BY A VIRGIN BIRTH THAT MADE HIM SUPERNATURALLY UNIQUE.   Numbers 11:9 implies the manna lay atop the pure dews , and the dew kept the manna from being defiled by the earth, so the Virgin birth of Jesus through the Holy Spirit brought Jesus to earth, unstained by sin (Luke 1:34–35). Had Jesus not been born of the virgin, He could never be called “that Holy One.”
5.      In Exodus 16:13c we see manna came right to where the Israelites were as if fell   all around the camp”. JESUS CHRIST CAME DOWN TO EARTH AND BECAME ONE OF US TO SAVE US.   How easily accessible the manna was to the Jews! They did not have to climb a mountain or cross a deep river; the manna came where they were (see Rom. 10:6–8). Jesus Christ is not far away from sinners. They can come to Him at any time.  

2nd manna PICTURES Christ's CHARACTER  

1.      MANNA PICTURES Christ's HUMILITY - it was small (v. 14), the Lord of Glory became a baby, and even a servant.
2.      MANNA PICTURES Christ's ETERNITY - it was round (v. 14), which reminds us of the circle, symbol of His eternality; for Jesus Christ is eternal God (John 8:53–59).
3.      MANNA PICTURES Christ's PURITY - it was white (v. 31), He is sinless; He is the holy Son of God.
4.      MANNA PICTURES Christ's BEAUTY - it was sweet like honey   (v. 31). “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8). Note in Num. 11:4–8 that the “mixed multitude” that went with the Jews did not appreciate the taste of the manna but asked for the “leeks, onions, and garlic” of Egypt. They were not satisfied with simple manna. They “ground it, beat it, and baked it,” but then it tasted like “oil” and not like honey. There is a spiritual lesson here for us; we cannot improve upon the simple Word of God (Ps. 119:103).
5.      MANNA PICTURES Christ's AVAILABILITY – it was everywhere they went for 40 years! (v. 35).   It was satisfying and strengthening, for the nation lived on manna for nearly forty years. All that we need for spiritual nourishment is Jesus Christ, God’s heaven-sent Bread. We are to feast on the Bread that will never leave us hungering.  

3RD Manna PICTURES OUR SALVATION  

1.       DESPERATELY. CHRIST IS ONLY RECEIVED WHEN WE SEE OUR NEED. There is a spiritual hunger within that can be satisfied only by Christ (John 6:35). It was when the Prodigal Son said, “I perish with hunger” that he decided to go back to the father and seek forgiveness (Luke 15:17–18). Much of the unrest and sin in the world today is the result of unsatisfied spiritual hunger. People are living on substitutes and rejecting the nourishment that God freely provides (Isa. 55:1–3).

2.       HUMBLY. CHRIST IS ONLY RECEIVED WHEN WE HUMBLY STOOP TO RECEIVE HIM . The manna did not fall on the tables or on the trees but on the ground, and the people had to stoop to pick it up. Many sinners will not humble themselves. They will not bend! They will not repent and turn to the Savior!

3.       personally.   CHRIST IS ONLY RECEIVED WHEN WE take jesus for OURselves . The hungry Jews were not fed by looking at the manna, admiring it, or watching others eat it; they had to pick it up and eat it themselves. Christ must be received inwardly by faith if the sinner is to be saved. This is what Christ meant in John 6:51–58 by “eating His flesh and drinking His blood.” John 6:63 makes it clear that Christ was not speaking about literal flesh and blood, and John 6:68 tells us that it was His Word that He was referring to. When we receive the Word inwardly, we are feeding on Christ, the Living Word. It is to be gathered; Christ in the word is to be applied to the soul, and the means of grace are to be used.

4.       IMMEDIATELY. CHRIST IS ONLY RECEIVED WHEN WE   TAKE HIM WHILE  WE can .   (v. 21). “Seek the Lord while He may be found!” is the warning of Isaiah 55:6 ( nkjv). “Today if you hear His voice” the writer of Hebrews exhorts. The manna disappeared when the sun became hot, and this suggests that the day of judgment will arrive when it will be too late to turn to Christ (Mal. 4). It also suggests that, as believers, we must get our spiritual nourishment from the Word early in the day as we meditate on it and pray. We must every one of us gather for ourselves, and gather in the morning of our opportunities, which if we let slip, it may be too late to gather.

5.       ETERNALLY. ONCE WE RECEIVE CHRIST AS SAVIOR, WE ARE SAVED ETERNALLY (John 10:27–29). It is important, however, that we feed on Christ to have the strength for our pilgrim journey, just as the Jews fed on the Passover lamb (Ex. 12:11ff). How do believers feed on Christ? By reading, studying, and meditating on His Word. God invites each of us to get up early in the day and gather from the Word the precious manna to nourish our souls. We cannot hoard God’s truth for another day (vv. 16–21); we must gather fresh food for each new day. Too many Christians mark their Bibles and fill their notebooks with outlines, yet never really feed on Christ. The manna they gathered must not be hoarded up, but eaten; those that have received Christ must by faith live upon him, and not receive his grace in vain. There was manna enough for all, enough for each, and none had too much; so in Christ there is a complete sufficiency, and no superfluity.

6.       PRACTICALLY. DAILY FEEDING ON GOD'S WORD IS A TEST OF OUR SPIRITUAL HUNGER. The daily gathering of the manna was God’s test of Israel’s obedience (v. 4), and it is still God’s test for His people. Those Christians that begin their day with the Bible, gathering spiritual food, are the ones God can trust and use. Alas, many Christians still hunger for the carnal diet of the world! (v. 3) And many expect the pastor or the Sunday School teacher to gather the manna for them and “spoon-feed” them. The test of our spiritual walk is this: do I think enough of Christ and His Word to start my day gathering manna?

 

 

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