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Eating Eternity

Eating Eternity

Being Italian, bread has always been important to me. Especially those big, crusty loaves with the rounded ends that reminded me as a boy of my grandmother’s elbows. Hot, chewy bread flowing with olive oil, garlic and cheese or simply slathered with sweet, creamy butter. Filling and satisfying to a poor family with not much else to eat. We didn’t know if we’d have it tomorrow. We couldn’t buy it as easily as folks do today. But we were filled for the day.

JESUS, GOD the Son, asks GOD the Father for daily bread as He teaches people trying to learn from Him how to pray as they sit on a mountainside. And that daily part is important, just as bread was always important and would always be important to GOD’s people.

Bread was part of sacrifices GOD instructed to be given from earliest times. Wheat from which bread was made symbolized the people of GOD while barley symbolized the rest of the world and loaves of both kinds were made for sacrifice to GOD.

Bread, matzoh, was a key element of the Passover celebration marking the people of GOD being freed so quickly that bread was not to have leaven so it wouldn’t be required to rise.

Daily bread isn’t something JESUS made up in the Sermon on the Mount but a reminder of Scripture that asked GOD to give just enough for that day to avoid trying to live without GOD with too much or succumbing to stealing out of hunger from too little. Just the kind of temptation JESUS would mention in the next line of His model prayer.

But greatest of all is the symbolism JESUS used as His Body being the Bread of Life which would be given for those who believe in Him for eternal Life, broken on the Cross. JESUS says He is the Bread of Life.

JESUS is our daily bread of satisfaction. He fills us and satisfies us, sustains us day by day. But how can that be when we long for a life others have but we seem to be denied? We aren’t satisfied if we’re still longing for more. But that’s the point. Our satisfaction is knowing JESUS is our daily satisfaction. Like the Manna in the wilderness and like the prayer not to have too much, JESUS calls us to be satisfied with what He has given us for eternity today. And He will sustain us through the impossible longing tomorrow into fulfillment in eternity.

JESUS gave Himself to give us eternity but we can’t even understand what that is. We must be satisfied with today. And that fulfillment can only come in mouthfuls of the day to day.

When JESUS resisted Satan’s temptation to turn stones to bread to satisfy His hunger, He said “Man does not live on bread alone but by every Word that comes from the Mouth of GOD.”

JESUS is the Bread of Life. He sustains us and satisfies us. He is also the Word of GOD in Flesh. That Word is our seeing in the Bible how He loves us and gives us eternal life if we believe Him for it as He demonstrated in His Life, death and resurrection for us. But we can only eat eternity one mouthful at a time.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11, ESV