"Eating" the Bread of Life

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Matt. 26:26, NIV.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT” reads the sign on the health food store near my home. Health enthusiasts, taking that slogan to heart, sometimes devise innovative dietary plans to ensure good health. They advocate an “all-natural diet”; an “organic diet”; a “juice diet.” There are many “diets” and many “cures”! But did you know about the highly recommended diet spelled out precisely by Jesus?

“I am the bread of life,” the record quotes Jesus as saying. “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead” (John 6:48, 49, NKJV). As though eager for every hearer to understand His words, Jesus returned to the thought again and again: “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (verses 50, 51, NKJV).

However carefully I monitor my eating habits (and I do attempt to eat a variety of foods, simply prepared), my spiritual ancestors did better. They ate manna.

And they are all dead.

What’s more, while on the diet they often lacked the positive emotions conducive to health.

In contrast, Jesus says that the person who eats His flesh and drinks His blood “lives” in Him and He lives “in them” too.

And there’s more. “He who eats this bread,” says Jesus, “will live forever” (verse 58, NKJV).

What a diet! It can be my diet if I take His promise personally: “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matt. 9:13, NKJV). “Come to Me, all you who . . . are heavy laden” (Matt. 11:28, NKJV). “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37, NKJV).

It’s encouraging to reflect that when we “eat the flesh” in this way, the Father looks at us and sees His Son. To Him we are whole. In this sense, and in His eyes, we are what we eat.

Invite Jesus to live in you today, and experience renewed energy and efficiency.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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