Jesus is known for using a variety of metaphors and symbols to explain his teachings. One of the most powerful symbols he used was that of bread. He referred to himself as the “bread of life” in John 6:35, which has become one of his most famous statements.
The Significance of Bread in the Bible
Bread has long been an important symbol in the Bible. It is mentioned more than 300 times throughout both the Old and New Testaments. In ancient times, bread was a staple food for many people, and it was often used as a symbol of sustenance and provision.
In addition to being a physical source of sustenance, bread also had spiritual significance. In Exodus 16:4, God gave the Israelites manna from heaven to sustain them during their journey through the desert. This miracle demonstrated God’s provision for his people and foreshadowed Jesus’ role as the ultimate provider.
Jesus as the Bread of Life
When Jesus called himself the “bread of life,” he was using bread as a metaphor for his own body. Just as bread sustains physical life, Jesus’ body sustains spiritual life.
In John 6:51, Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” This statement emphasizes that only through faith in him can we receive eternal life.
The Importance of Eating His Flesh and Drinking His Blood
In John 6:53-54, Jesus goes on to say, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
These words shocked and confused many of Jesus’ followers. They could not understand how they were supposed to eat his flesh and drink his blood. However, Jesus was speaking metaphorically about the importance of fully embracing him and his teachings.
The Last Supper
The symbolism of bread continued to be important throughout Jesus’ ministry. At the Last Supper, he broke bread with his disciples and told them to eat it in remembrance of him (Luke 22:19). This act foreshadowed his sacrificial death on the cross, where he gave his body as a sacrifice for our sins.
In summary, Jesus is called the “bread of life” because he provides spiritual sustenance and eternal life through faith in him. By using bread as a metaphor for his own body, he emphasized the importance of fully embracing him and his teachings in order to receive salvation.
- Bread has long been an important symbol in the Bible
- Jesus referred to himself as the “bread of life” in John 6:35
- He was using bread as a metaphor for his own body
- The Last Supper foreshadowed his sacrificial death on the cross
- We can receive eternal life through faith in Jesus