Jesus said to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). What is our daily bread? Certainly we are taught here to recognize our dependence on the Lord for our every need, for our daily food, for our earthly supplies. But is this all there is to it?
“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. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:32-33 (NIV)
Jesus is declaring Himself to be the fulfillment of the Manna that came down from heaven, and specifically, showing that His death on the cross was how He “gives life to the world.”
“Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.” John 6:53-56 (NIV)
God gave Manna in the wilderness, raining it down out of heaven for the blessing of His people. It was a supernatural provision from God, a miracle to meet the needs of hungry people. The Israelites were to gather this Manna fresh every day, teaching them daily dependence on God, even as we are to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).
We must see Jesus as the true bread that came down from heaven, and specifically, the cross is God’s provision for our need. This passage teaches us:
As we see Jesus going to the cross, He is offering His body and blood to:
“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.” Hebrews 13:9-10 (NIV)
The cross of Jesus is our “altar” on which those under the Law are unable to feed. As we see Jesus wearing our crown of thorns, being nailed onto a wooden cross, suffering in our place, breathing His last breath and dying and going to the grave and hell, we are to feed. We are to be nourished by this grace and mercy that is “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23). Old moldy experiences of the cross should be replaced with fresh gathering daily.
“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” Numbers 11:4-6 (NIV)
In Numbers 11:4-6, it was the “rabble,” those who were uncircumcised, that “began to crave other food,” and that led the Israelites to want to return to Egypt. Those who are uncircumcised in heart long for some other food than manna, something other than “the cross, the cross, the cross.”
Believers must understand that all our life, we will be tempted to want something other than the cross. We will wish for some teaching that is new and different, or minimizes or ignores the cross or adds to the teaching of the cross. But realize that the desire for other food will lead us right back to our past, “we remember...Egypt!”
We must be careful to stick closely to the message of the cross. Examine your writing and speaking to your friends and family. Look at every sentence. Are you pointing to the Law, and/or merely using religious language? Saying things like, “God is sovereign, and in control, His hand of providence is always guiding,” etc.? These statements are true and biblical, but they sound like powerless platitudes when not centered in the one message we have been given to give to others, the cross of Jesus Christ: His death for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection on the third day.
What is our daily food? It is the cross of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who took away our sins, the substitutional suffering and resurrection of Jesus. We need it's message daily to feed our souls, even as we need physical food daily to feed our bodies.
We have published a book that provides thirty lessons of the cross of Jesus Christ as "Our Daily Food." Click on the image below to order.