THE SACRIFICIAL BREAD
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If a man (anyone) eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6:51, NIV).
Continuing the imagery of bread, Christ paints a new portrait of Himself. He is the sacrificial bread. In this portrait, Christ is not only the bread of life, but the living bread as well. He is the bread that is alive and that gives life.
In John 6:48, our Lord speaks of Himself as the "bread of life," meaning, the bread that sustains life. As bread is eaten, it is digested and assimilated into the body, promoting life, health, growth, and energy. So Christ, the life-sustaining, spiritual bread, nourishes and sustains the spiritual life of the believer. In the imagery of John 6:51, Jesus describes Himself as the living bread "which I will give for the life of the world" (NIV). This declaration points to Calvary where the living bread was broken for us that we might have life.
The communion bread is the emblem of the broken body of Christ for the remission of sin. It symbolizes Christ the sacrificial bread broken for us. The sacrificial bread points to the specific event of the cross where Christ give His flesh in a climactic act "for the life of the world" (John 6:51, NIV).
All who partake of this living, sacrificial bread are blessed with everlasting life (see John 6:47). When our Saviour declared Himself to be the living bread, He "did not speak of temporal bread, but of the bread of life, of which if a man eat, he shall have the life that measures with the life of God."--Review and Herald, April 14, 1891.
My Prayer Today: Lord, may the sacrificial bread broken on Calvary give me that life that measures with the life of God. Amen.