Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jesus is the Bread of Life

By far the best meal I eat all year is at Thanksgiving.  Gratitude fills the atmosphere.  Food prepared and presented beautifully at my in-law’s warm and welcoming home.  Family comes together, cousins laugh and the hi-light is taking in the meal together.
Whether it’s this meal or others meals like it I am reminded of that feeling of being filled-up.  It last as long as the body can digest it.  And then I’m hungry again.  
I love to eat up good things.  Good food, good news, good conversations, good ideas, good friends!  I love good things.  After digestion I’m hungry for it again.
I then think of Jesus’ words in John 6: 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...”
This is quoted often and to those who believe Jesus’ words it fills their hearts with hope.  For those who have come to Him, this quote reminds them of the spiritual fulfillment that has been found.  It brings a profound purpose that penetrates the deepest parts of their hearts.  A claim like this can only be an eternal promise.  Eating this bread satisfies in a way that nothing else can.  For the Christians of this day and age, these words are prophetic and profound.
But at the time Jesus said it the conversation sounded more like this...
“Luke, I am your father.”  A blow that was so big and so hard to believe it crushed Luke to the core.
(Example from STARWARS)
Belief.  A simple word for a really big concept.  Even Jesus’ followers could not wrap their brains around it.  On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (John 6:60)
Translation:  Noooooooooooooo!
And yet they had witnessed miracles taking place at his hands, the power at the simple sound of his name.  
It’s hard to trust something so big and so inconceivable as this claim to being the promised savior that holds the gift of eternal life in his hands.
Just take a peek at how big this claim was:
(John 6:25-40)
I can’t blame Jesus’ followers for questioning the validity of His claim.  For the ones who trusted Him the most, it puzzled them.
Jesus continually spoke hope into their lives.  He called for their patience as the fulfillment of this amazing claim drew near.  It was only after His death and resurrection that the scriptures were opened up and this claim all of a sudden became the most profound and truthful statement ever made in history.  It all goes back again to one thing... belief.
After Jesus’ claim was fulfilled truths from scriptures were overwhelmingly revealed: 
In Starwars Luke had to come to terms with the truth that Vador was his father... which ultimately led to balance in the force.  This is a pretend story, but what happens in hearts when Jesus’ true identity as God’s own son is revealed is not pretend at all.  He is not a lying deceiver or the blasphemer he was accused to be which led to his crucifixion.  He is The One promised who sacrificially gave himself to bring eternal life to all who believe.  Belief in this big thing brings balance in our hearts.  
Saying I’m a Christian is not a blind following or a moral statement of lifestyle.  It is saying that I believe something so big that it seems inconceivable.  It is saying that I believe the prophecies, the miracles and the fulfillment of God’s plan for reconciliation to man kind on this earth.  It’s very gutsy to make that statement.  But like Jesus’ disciples who heard this claim and then saw, touched and talked with the risen Jesus... I have come to believe Jesus is the bread of life!
I’ve eaten many good things but after eating the bread of life my spirit never hungered in the same way.  We all crave, some consciously and some subconsciously, for food that satisfies our spirit’s hunger.  Jesus holds the gift.  And all it took for me to receive it was belief. 
As my family gathers this Thanksgiving I know that I will enjoy the goodness found there.  But it can only satisfy for a time.  And it is only a sliver of satisfaction compared to the satisfaction of eternal life in Christ Jesus.  A place where we will never hunger again for the things that are temporary.  To have that filled-up feeling that will never fade and never go away.

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