Wooden cross in the Good Shepherd Chapel



Bread of Life

Lent 2018

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst”

John 6:35

Bread is a food of the Fall. East of Eden, bread takes work. Seeds are sown. The farmer harvests. The miller grinds. The baker bakes. The truck delivers. The shelves are stocked. The grocer sells. Then we buy and eat. This is our daily bread. And yet, the bread that sustains us is also a sign of our mortality. Bread fills us one moment, and leaves us hungry the next. Bread comes from the earth and feeds our bodies, which will one day return to the earth.

What a contrast to Jesus’ declaration, “I am the bread of Life.” By the sweat and blood of his brow, Jesus labored under the weight of our sin for you; he suffered and wrestled with thistle and thorn on the cross for you. And then he returned to the dust of the earth for you. Jesus swallowed Adam’s bread of death in order to give you the Living Bread of his body and raise you to life. Now, in the Lord’s Supper, Jesus takes the food of the Fall, fills it with his death and resurrection, and turns it into a feast of forgiveness for you. In Jesus we have bread that brings immortality. Jesus’ body is true food that will never perish, and in eating and drinking his body and blood, he guarantees that you will never perish either.

I am the bread of life, not bodily bread, which puts an end only to suffering from hunger and frees the flesh from perishing of it; rather, I remold the whole living being completely unto eternal life and render humanity, which was created to exist forever, superior to death… What then is Christ promising? Nothing corruptible; rather, he is promising that blessing in the participation of his holy body and blood, which raise a person completely to incorruptibility so that they need none of the provisions that drive away the death of the flesh.

Cyril of Alexandria on John 6

Sam Schuldheisz '04
Pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Huntington Beach
CUI Board of Regents

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