April 19, 2006
by Max Lucado
Bread is eaten daily. Some fruits are available only in season. Some drinks are made only at holidays. Not so with bread. And not so with Jesus. He should be brought to our table every day. We let him nourish our hearts, not just in certain months or on special events, but daily.
Bread can meet many needs. So can Jesus. He has a word for the lonely as well as for the popular. He has help for the physically ill and the emotionally ill. If your vision is clear, he can help you. If your vision is cloudy, he can help you. Jesus can meet each need.
Can you see why Jesus called himself the Bread of Life?
I can think of one other similarity. Consider how bread is made. Think about the process. Wheat grows in the field, then it is cut down, winnowed, and ground into flour. It passes through the fire of the oven and is then distributed around the world. Only by this process does bread become bread. Each step is essential.
Jesus grew up as a "small plant before the LORD" (Isa. 53:2). One of thousands in Israel. Indistinguishable from the person down the street or the child in the next chair. Had you seen him as a youngster, you wouldn't have thought he was the Son of God. He was just a boy. One of hundreds. Like a staff of wheat in the wheat field.
But like wheat, he was cut down. Like chaff he was pounded and beaten. "He was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did" (Isa. 53:5). And like bread he passed through the fire. On the cross he passed though the fire of God's anger, not because of his sin, but because of ours. "The LORD has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done" (Isa. 53:6).
Jesus experienced each part of the process of making bread: the growing, the pounding, the firing. And just as each is necessary for bread, each was also necessary for Christ to become the bread of life. "The Christ must suffer these things before he enters his glory" (Luke 24:26).
The next part of the process, the distribution, Christ leaves with us. We are the distributors. We can't force people to eat the bread, but we can make sure they have it.
"I am the bread that gives life." John 6:35
From A Gentle Thunder, Copyright 1995 Max Lucado