I’ve never really wrestled with the meaning–and sweetness–of Christ as the Bread of Life until recently tackling the Bread of Life passage in John 6 with a Catholic girl I’m discipling. Honestly, I didn’t have answer for her when she described the Roman Catholic traditions surrounding the passage. But as I dug in, I came to appreciate all the more who Jesus is describing Himself.
“I am the bread of life” Jesus says, answering those desperate for more of the physical bread he had fed the 5,000. Far more than the physical re-sacrificing of Christ that occurs each Mass, this identification of Christ points to His final sacrifice on the cross. It is finished. The giving up of Himself for us was complete, the only bread we will ever need.
I walked away from the study challenged by Jesus’ statement. “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the bread that endures to eternal life.” If Christ is living bread, and coming to him means no more hunger, why labor for anything else? I find it too easy to get caught up in working hard to achieve material comforts. “I am the Bread of life” sets before me a loftier, more fulfilling goal. Daily, to live to feast on this bread, experiencing Jesus through the Word. Then, having filled myself, to not rest until lost, starving souls experience the same banquet.
“The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33).