Devotion for August 14, 2018

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

In the Old Testament, the Israelites knew what it meant for God to give them bread. If you remember the story of the Exodus, you remember how the Israelites had been held in slavery under Pharaoh, how he had mistreated them and abused them. But you remember how Moses had been sent by God to free them from that tyranny and led them into the wilderness, where they wandered for forty years. Likewise, you would also remember how God provided Manna, bread from heaven, for them. The Israelites knew what it meant for God to give them bread.

Then Jesus came and said that He was Living Bread. What did that mean? It meant that God was providing once again for His people. How so? Well, instead of just being under the tyranny of an evil king who abused them, what Jesus revealed is that the whole world is under a different kind of tyranny. The world is under the tyranny of sin, of death, of the devil.

You see, when God created the world, we see that He created it very good. In fact, in the Bible we see no death until man and woman are clothed by God in animal skins after their fall into sin. What does this tell us? Sin brought evil into the world. Sin brought suffering, it brought pain, it brought death. And this is all under the tyranny of the serpent, the devil.

If you’ve ever wondered why you suffer; why your body breaks down and doesn’t work; why there’s pain in this life and ultimately death; that’s it: sin. Sin gave the world over to death and to the tyranny under the devil.

But that’s where Jesus’ flesh comes as that bread. In the body, in the flesh of Jesus, God gave the world rescue from that tyranny. Just as He provided for the Israelites in giving their freedom from Pharaoh, so also He gives the whole world, gives you freedom in the flesh of Jesus. How? Because that flesh was given over on the cross, dying that your sin would be forgiven. It’s precisely in this forgiveness, then, that death is overcome—something we see in Jesus’ resurrection. And in that victory over death, the devil has no power anymore. By the flesh of Jesus you are free. You are given the provision, the bread of God which came down from heaven and gives you true and eternal life. Amen.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, in the flesh of Your Son Jesus, You have given us the bread which is eternal. Bless us to feast always on His flesh, receiving the eternal life that He gives through His victory over sin, death, and the devil. Amen.