Taste and See!
The Beauty of the Earth

Bread of Heaven


For a very long time now, I've been interested in knowing more about Judaism. Because Jesus wasn’t just a Jew, He was the best Jew ever. Every prayer, every feast day, every law Jesus kept perfectly just as God Himself intended. I recently watched a show on TBN where a Messianic Jewish Rabbi and a Pastor demonstrated the Passover Seder, the traditional actions and prayers said at the Passover dinner celebration, the last supper Jesus ever had. In the amazing way that God always reveals himself, every little word, action and item in that dinner has multiple symbolic meanings that point directly to the Messiah and Jesus’ fulfillment of all of them.

Today I’m only going to focus on the bread. In the Lord’s Prayer we pray ‘give us this day our daily bread’ Matthew 6:11. We understand this to mean our life-giving sustenance. But we also understand that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” Deuteronomy 8:3. This is the verse Jesus quoted to Satan in the wilderness and it refers to the time the Hebrews were in the wilderness with Moses. Now hear Jesus in John 6:31-35:

So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

So, Jesus is our bread from Heaven, who give us eternal life. But wait, there’s more!

Passover is also known as the Festival of Unleavened Bread. God had those Hebrews eat unleavened bread that first Passover because they didn’t have time to wait around for the yeast to rise. But yeast also has a symbolic meaning: sin. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy….” Luke 12:1.

As part of the week-long celebration, God instructed that on the first day the entire house must be cleansed of ANY leaven (Exodus 12:17-19). Practically speaking, this means Jews had the original ‘Spring Cleaning,’ with women and children, even today, pulling everything out of cupboards and drawers to rid the house of leavening. Symbolically, we are the home of the Holy Spirit, so we must clean the sin out of our hearts – repentance. Now consider Jesus’ actions on the first day of the week of Passover: “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” Matthew 21:12-13. Don’t we still call rooting out corruption ‘house cleaning?’ Jesus had to clean His Father’s house of the leaven of sin and hypocrisy.

Now prepare yourself to be amazed:

At the Passover meal, they have three pieces of matzoh bread, called ‘the Bread of Affliction.’ It’s like a cracker, but it’s pierced all over and marred with brown streaks. (Consider how much that’s like Jesus’ body – ‘pierced for our transgressions’.) They take the middle piece (Father, SON, and Holy Spirit) and break it (“this is my body broken for you”). Then, it is wrapped in cloth and hidden somewhere in the house until the end of the ceremony, when the children find it and redeem it for a promised gift! Then it is eaten for “dessert” in commemoration of the Passover sacrifice because the sweetness of “redemption” should be the last thing you taste!! For Christians, this symbolism is just unmistakable.

So, Jesus, the Bread of Heaven sent by the Father, was born in Bethlehem (translation: The House of Bread). He is our Daily Bread, the Word of God made flesh. He declared that He was the Bread of Life who will give life and satisfy all of our needs. He willingly became our Bread of Affliction, pierced and broken for us, taking on all our sin and shame, to be hidden in the grave and then found and redeemed for the precious gift of eternal life. His sweet redemption completes God’s mighty work of freeing and redeeming His people from slavery to a world of sin, not just for a time, but for all eternity! Wow!

PRAYER: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, hamotzi lehem min ha'aretz. Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth. (One of the Passover prayers.)

L'Shana Haba'ah B'Yerushalayim! (Next year in [the New] Jerusalem!)




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