Jesus said, “I am the bread of life."
(John 6:35, 43)
In this important declaration, Jesus is saying two things. First, He is saying that He is God when He uses the phrase “I AM”, which is how God identified Himself to Moses in the burning bush. This has powerful implications. Not only is He divine and equal with God the Father, but in the second half of the phrase (“the bread of life”), He is saying that He is God‘s divine provision for us. In calling Himself the bread of life, Jesus is saying that He is the satisfaction and nourishment that our souls long for and need.
If we are honest, at some level, we all know something is not right and that we need something outside of us to help us. But even beyond help, we need a savior, one in whom we can find eternal rest as well as current provision for our spiritual needs. Bread, then, is both a beautiful picture and a readily accessible image that can be understood universally. God in His kindness has sent Christ to be everything our souls long for.
When Jesus says that He is the bread of life that came from heaven, He is invoking an Old Testament image of the manna that God provided in the wilderness for Israel. The main difference is that, as Jesus notes in John 6:49, the Israelites’ forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness and died. Those who partake of Christ will have eternal life. As Paul would say later on, God really has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ! (Eph. 1:3) Not only that, Christ is kind and gracious and takes care of our physical needs for, as we see in the Lord’s prayer, He tells us to ask for our daily bread. What a gracious Heavenly Father to provide for all our needs! Let us give thanks to Him!