40 Days to Jerusalem
The New Exodus Begins ‚Äì Day 28
Weekly Theme: Jesus Offers Us Provisions for the Journey
Today‚Äôs Meditation: Jesus ‚Äì True Bread from Heaven
Jesus said to them, ‚ÄúVery truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.‚Äù 34 ‚ÄúSir,‚Äù they said, ‚Äúalways give us this bread.‚Äù 35 Then Jesus declared, ‚ÄúI am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, ‚ÄúI am the bread that came down from heaven.‚Äù 42 They said, ‚ÄúIs this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‚ÄòI came down from heaven‚Äô?‚Äù 43 ‚ÄúStop grumbling among yourselves,‚Äù Jesus answered.
I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.‚Äù
As we studied yesterday, because of their groaning and complaining about being hungry, God offered provisions for the Children of Israel. Manna and quail were given to the people for forty years until they reached the Promised Land. Psalm 78:23 and following says, ‚ÄúGod commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven; and he rained down upon them manna to eat, and gave them the bread of heaven. Man ate the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance‚Ä¶‚Äù This was nothing less than supernatural bread provided by God and sent from heaven.
For the last twenty seven days we have been studying passages related to Jesus as the New Moses who would bring a New Exodus. Two days ago we saw that Jesus institutes a New Passover. Today we will also see that Jesus feeds His followers with New Manna ‚Äì the, ‚ÄúTrue bread which has come down from heaven.‚Äù This is demonstrated nowhere more clearly than the sixth chapter of John‚Äôs Gospel.
John six is packed with overtones from the Exodus. Consider for a moment these amazing typological connections. At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus feeds a huge crowd by multiplying five loaves and two fish. There in the grassy wilderness, thousands were fed, and amazingly, there were twelve baskets full left over. Feeding the people miraculous bread certainly recalls the Exodus. Twelve baskets are reminiscent of the twelve tribes. It is no surprise that the people wondered if Jesus was the ‚Äúprophet‚Äù. What Prophet might feed people with miraculous bread? Why, they were looking for the New Moses as prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18. In this passage, we discover that God promised to raise up a prophet like Moses‚Ä¶only greater (Hebrews 3:3)!
After Jesus‚Äô feeds the crowd, what happens next? Jesus walks on the water of the sea. In the first Exodus, Moses walked through the water. But, Jesus, the new and greater Moses didn‚Äôt walk through the water. Jesus walks on top of the water. Jesus is, indeed, greater than Moses!
Realizing that Jesus has crossed to Capernaum, the people get into boats and follow him there. Jesus discerns that they have come for more of the miraculous bread. So, He instructs them not to work for food that spoils, but rather to seek food that endures to eternal life. Then they asked him, ‚ÄúWhat must we do to do the works God requires?‚Äù 29 Jesus answered, ‚ÄúThe work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.‚Äù 30 So they asked him, ‚ÄúWhat sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Imagine the gall of this. Less than twenty four hours before they had been fed miraculously. Yet, they still ask Jesus to show them a sign. Just beneath the surface of their statement lies their true intent. They believe Jesus is the New Moses. The New Moses would give them ‚Äúdaily bread,‚Äù like Moses fed the Israelites manna. That‚Äôs why they say to Jesus, ‚ÄúOur ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‚ÄòHe gave them bread from heaven to eat.‚Äô‚Äù Jesus replied, ‚ÄúVery truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.‚Äù The New Moses was about to teach them about a greater manna. The first manna only sustained the physical lives of those who ate it. The New Manna would be for spiritual sustenance!
In John 6:48 Jesus says, ‚Äú48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.‚Äù
It was Passover when Jesus fed the five thousand and taught them about the new and greater manna. One year later, again at Passover, the disciples gathered in the upper room and there, Jesus echoes what he taught the crowd in John 6. He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said, ‚ÄúThis is my body, given for you‚Äù (Luke 22:19). That night, they received the bread that comes down from heaven‚Ä¶only this time it was not from the angels, but from Jesus, Himself (1 Corinthians 10:16). The manna in the wilderness was a type or prefiguring of the true bread that Jesus came to offer. There is a Scriptural principle that applies here. No type is greater than its fulfillment. We have already established that the manna of the Exodus was supernatural bread. What kind of bread was Jesus offering the Disciples, and to us? If the Biblical axiom is true, then the bread we share at His Table is greater than the manna in the wilderness.
So, from the Passover we learn that we need an unblemished sacrificial lamb. Of all the human beings who have ever lived, only one could fulfill the requirement. His name is Jesus ‚Äì the Son of man, the Son of God. From the manna, the supernatural bread sent down from heaven, we learn that Jesus offers us even greater bread! You see, manna met physical needs. The bread that Jesus offers us applies to spiritual hunger. We can rest assured, when we gather at the Lord‚Äôs Table; it is no ordinary meal He sets before us!
The New Moses leads a New Exodus to the Greater Promised Land. Along the way, we have upgraded supplies. Paul wrote, ‚ÄúChrist, our Passover has been sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast‚Ä¶‚Äù Jesus is not only our Passover Lamb; He is also the ‚ÄúTrue Bread from Heaven.‚Äù The old hymn says it well. ‚ÄúBread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more!‚Äù What blessed gifts have been given to us! Unlike the Israelites and the crowd at Capernaum, may we never grumble or complain about these precious provisions for the journey!
Prayer for Today
Praise God for His amazing love and concern for us
Give thanks God for His greatest provision ‚Äì the gift of His Son, Jesus
Give thanks to Jesus for His Passion ‚Äì without His death, burial and resurrection, there would not be a New Exodus
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the Truth of God‚Äôs Word
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any unconfessed sin
Repent, confess and ask the Lord to forgive you
Receive His forgiveness
Ask the Lord to reveal those around you who need to know about the New Exodus from bondage to sin, death and ultimately, hell
Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, ‚ÄúDoes this offend you?‚Äù (John 6:61)
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 ‚ÄúYou do not want to leave too, do you?‚Äù Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, ‚ÄúLord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.‚Äù (John 6:66-69)