Christ Our Bread

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“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. … I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” John 6:35, 51

One of the inescapable realities and joys of being human is our need for food. Without it we simply cannot sustain life. We die.

We tend to take food for granted, don’t we? Especially if we live in a place that has food in abundance. Throughout history, however, food was not something to be taken for granted. The purpose of a day’s labour was to get the evening’s meal. This was certainly true for Jesus’ original audience.

No wonder, then, that they were astonished when, with just a few loaves of bread, he fed a multitude.

Here was someone who could fill their stomachs.

Here was someone like Moses who could provide manna.

Here was someone who could lead them into a new exodus.

Yet Jesus is so much better than Moses.

The people wanted bread to fill their stomachs for a day, but Jesus offered himself—the very bread of God, the very life of God, who gives life forevermore: “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Life with the Father, Son, and Spirit. The very thing we were created for. What our hearts long most deeply for. And we receive this bread in a way we’d least expect—Isaiah says it this way:

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
(Isa. 55:1–2)

We come with empty and open hands. Trusting in him as our sufficient Saviour, we take hold of him. By coming. By eating. By receiving. By delighting in the richness of Christ.

It costs us nothing: we are given it freely. Yet it is not without cost. Just as plants and animals must die before they can give life as food, so it is with the bread of life. The life-giving sustenance of the true Bread from heaven becomes ours by union with him. The perfect God-man takes all that is ours (sin) and gives us all that is his (life). The very life he has always shared with the Father and Spirit.

When we are made one with him, our debt becomes his, while his riches become ours. All that is ours becomes his, and all that is his becomes ours—his perfect life, his sufficient death, his triumphant resurrection and ascension to the Father. This is our present reality. The grand story of the Bible culminates in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where Christ, the bridegroom, unites himself to his bride, the church. We shall be with him, face to face celebrating with him. This is our future reality.

Do you hunger for righteousness, for life, for union with God? Eat this bread, for there are no benefits apart from him.

Do coldness of affection or failure to keep quiet time, weakness or habitual sin, incompetency or inability leave you malnourished? Behold him. Lean your full weight upon him. Nourish yourself in him. It is in our greatest weakness that Christ has the most compassion and shows his surpassing strength. Christ, who is our life, knows us personally. He knows you personally. He is good: eat of him. He is rich: delight yourself in him. For Christ is the true bread of heaven.


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Christ Our Brother

Picture of Chance Faulkner

Chance Faulkner

Chance Faulkner (@chancefaulkner) manages Union Publishing and oversees the content across all the ministries at Union. He holds an undergraduate degree in Theological Studies from Toronto Baptist Seminary and Bible College and is a Master of Theology candidate at Union School of Theology. He is a Jr. Fellow of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and the co-founder of H&E Publishing.
Picture of Chance Faulkner

Chance Faulkner

Chance Faulkner (@chancefaulkner) manages Union Publishing and oversees the content across all the ministries at Union. He holds an undergraduate degree in Theological Studies from Toronto Baptist Seminary and Bible College and is a Master of Theology candidate at Union School of Theology. He is a Jr. Fellow of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and the co-founder of H&E Publishing.