We are now mostly settled in the new home. We are starting to recognize landmarks when we drive and have been to some places more than once…this is quite a bit of progress! I grew up as a Marine Corps officer’s daughter, now I am an Air Force officer’s wife. Yet, though I have done this relocation thing many time before, in the beginning I found myself overwhelmed. My mind was bogged down with so many details and I had trouble organizing them. There was no way I could even think of writing posts or Facebook updates.
Now that we are unpacked, I have begun to unpack my brain a bit. I see topics and ideas everywhere but still don’t have much time to write. I have kept a list of these ideas that I am going to try to get to as soon as I can. Today this seemed to be the one to put into a post:
As I have mentioned before, in our daily devotional, the kids and I are studying the Westminster Confession. This week we are looking at the Lord’s Supper and, today in particular, at the breaking of break. Here is the familiar passage in Luke: And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Jesus was saying to His dear friends, this bread, it is a symbol of Me. When you can no longer see Me, you will remain connected to Me by remembering Me, thinking of Me, obeying Me. I will give you this memorial; it is like a touchstone. In the Bread, that you can see and hear and smell and taste – you will remember Me. And the lesson, in this, for us is: Jesus is just a heartbeat away. When we feel alone, we are not; we need only remember Him.
Before the Last Supper, Jesus had already taught the disciples about bread. In John 6, He had fed the Five Thousand with just five barley loaves and two fish. This amazing feat showed His Authority over earthly things. But Jesus was not a sideshow magician doing cheap parlor tricks to impress. He is in very nature God (Phil 2:6): as with God, there is a purpose in everything Jesus does; there is spiritual significance in the earthly experiences.
After the miraculous meal, the disciples gathered up twelve baskets of leftover bread. Jesus explained the spiritual significance of this miracle in this way, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” John 6:48-51. Isn’t it amazing that there was enough bread to fill twelve baskets? Twelve. Twelve baskets. Twelve disciples. Twelve tribes made up the Nation of Israel. There was enough Bread to fill them all so that they would never be empty again.
But, Israel turned its back on God’s Son, just like one of the Twelve did. The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
It occurred to me that, the Bread of Life is a lot like the Manna God gave to His people. Of course there is the connection that has already been made by Jesus: God provided nourishment for His people, nourishment they could not find on their own and, without which, they would die. Jesus is that spiritual nourishment for us. But me, I was thinking about Manna – what I have heard about it; and two things came to mind.
First, I remembered that Manna was sweet (it was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey Exodus 16:31). God could have given them anything to sustain them; they were starving after all! But God is a loving Father…He chose to teach them to depend on Him by providing for them something sweet and good tasting…reminds me of this: Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him (Psalm 34:8). Life with Jesus is sweet. It doesn’t have to be. God didn’t have to give us comfort and friendship, but He did.
Second, Manna was a mystery to the people. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was (Exodus 16:15). Jesus was a mystery to those He met too. How could a Carpenter become a learned teacher? How could the Kingdom of Heaven be revealed to tax collectors and prostitutes and simple fishermen? Why would God send a humble Man to save the world rather than a conquering warrior? Who was Jesus? People weren’t sure. There was much debate in the crowds who followed, in the Temple where He taught, at the tables where He ate…
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Matt 16:13-15).
And this was the most important question…for those who knew Him, those who saw the miracles, those heard the Words from His lips…and He knew the answer. But wanted them, to hear themselves, saying it: “Who do you say I am?”
It is the same with us. We know Him. We read the Words. We pray, we sing. He whispers to our hearts. We find Him with us all along our journey. “Who do you say I am?”
But do we find on our journey? Do we recognize Him? When we see the Bread of Life on our way, are we like the Israelites, asking “What is it?” Are we able to see the spiritual significance in our earthly experiences and see the Manna, so sweet to the taste? When we encounter the Bread of Life, do we remember who He is, who we are?
He is in very nature God (Phil 2:6): as with God, there is a purpose in everything; there is spiritual significance in the earthly experiences.
Me, I am finding Him in places that are uncomfortable – I see Him moving me away from familiar places to find a new way. This is uncomfortable. And I see Him bringing me to familiar, hard places where I can grieve and grow and turn more and more to Him, for my good. And this is uncomfortable too.
It is when we encounter the Bread of Life, and see Him in the earthly experiences, that we remember who He is. Who we are.
He is my Lord, my Master, the Alpha and the Omega and He calls me friend, daughter, beloved, rescued, redeemed. What about you? Who is He to you? Who are you in Him?
justAgirl…just like you!