"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." John 6:47-51
When Jesus says, "'Amen, amen," translated as "Truly, truly," "Verily, verily," or "Most assuredly," before a statement, He is telling us to pay close attention and listen carefully. He is telling us that He is about to speak a truth that we should carefully hear and heed. And here, He begins this section of His discourse with the Jewish people using these words.
What is this truth we should hear and heed?
Jesus is "the bread of life." How do we partake of this bread? As Jesus said, "He who believes in Me has everlasting life." We "eat" this life-giving bread figuratively and spiritually, not with our teeth and digestive system but by faith in Jesus. And the one who places His faith in Jesus as His Messiah and Savior from sin and its condemnation "has everlasting life."
Jesus makes clear that He is not talking about bread that only nourishes the body for a time but about bread that gives life to the soul. He said, "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die."
As God provided manna for the children of Israel to sustain their temporal, earthly bodies while in the wilderness (though He also taught them to trust in Him each day for their daily bread), so God also provided spiritual food to nourish and give life to their souls when He sent His only-begotten Son into this world a true man to win for mankind pardon, forgiveness and eternal life in communion with the Creator.
Jesus further explained, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
Jesus is the life-giving bread that came down from heaven to nourish and sustain our souls. As He said, this bread that He gives is His own flesh, His own body, that He was about to "give for the life of the world."
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God in human flesh, took the place of mankind under God's law and kept it perfectly in His thoughts, desires, words, and deeds for fallen mankind. And then He took our sins, our guilt, upon Himself and suffered the just condemnation of God's law against us by His innocent sufferings and death on the cross. By His death, He made full atonement for the sins of all by satisfying the condemnation of God's law against us sinners.
And Jesus rose again on the third day, proving that God accepted His sacrifice as full payment for the sins of all so that we might place our faith in Him and His cross and receive God's pardon, forgiveness, and the everlasting joys of heaven.
Do you partake of Jesus, the bread of life, through faith? Do you acknowledge your own sins and inability to please God and look to Jesus and His cross for pardon and forgiveness? If so, you have eternal life in communion with God through faith in Jesus, your Savior. Through faith in Jesus, God forgives you, accepts you, and welcomes you into His everlasting kingdom.
O gracious Father, thank You for providing for us the Bread of Life, for sending Your only-begotten Son into this world to give His life for us on the cross and redeem us. Grant that I repent of my sinful ways and partake of Jesus, the Bread of Life, through faith in Him and His atoning sacrifice on the cross. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Editor's note: Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://mercifulsaviorlutheran.net. Opinions expressed are those of the author.