“Christ is the true legacy of life; He heartily loves, tenderly calls, sincerely welcomes and gladly receives all who come to Him. No one can have too much of His preciousness, sweetness, or loveliness; all He bestows is fresh and fragrant and satisfies forevermore.”
The Bread of God
The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33).
The context shows that the emancipation from Egypt, which was followed by the supply of manna forty years in the wilderness under Moses, is closely associated with this new claim. During that period of national history, four outstanding experiences are recorded. These experiences relate to the Passover lamb, the Red Sea deliverance, the uplifted serpent and the fording of Jordan. The Apostle John introduces the spiritual significance of these same four features in the opening three chapters of this Gospel. These memorable links with the past, together with Jacob’s well (John 4), and the pool at the sheep gate (John 5), furnish an illuminating background in relation to the far-reaching claim Christ made of being the Bread of God from heaven.
The secret of Israel’s sustained strength was linked with the lamb in Egypt, the power at the Red Sea, the manna in the wilderness and the old corn in Canaan. These reflect Christ in His personal holiness at the crucifixion, “a Lamb without spot,” His prevailing power in resurrection (John 2:19), His perfect humility in submission, “the Bread which came down from heaven,” and His pre-eminent honor in glorification, as the One enthroned high above all principality and power.
The third of these is the subject here, where Christ declared Himself to be the Bread of God. To draw definite attention to the fact of His own manifestation and ordained mission, He refers to the source from whence He came and the sequence of that coming. Bread, in the use we make of it, is brought to nourish those who are alive; but Christ the Bread of God imparts life eternal. John is careful to mention among the essentials of this life, birth, breath and bread, and attributes these in turn to the Triune God. The physical bread we eat is from wheat grown in the ground, from whence our bodies are derived. The calcium, silicon, iodine, iron, phosphates, etc. in an organic form are packed into the wheat in order to build up our strength. In like manner, if we are to become partakers of spiritual life and immortality we must needs eat the Bread of God, which is made up of righteousness, goodness, lovingkindness, graciousness, perfectness, holiness, and such like which result in Godlikeness.
Our Lord also claimed, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me” (John 6:37). This is a sure anchorage for faith; for by our coming it is obvious we form part of the Father’s gift. The decision to do so leads to a great discovery. “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). An eternal mystery is unveiled to everyone that comes. Christ is the true legacy of life; He heartily loves, tenderly calls, sincerely welcomes and gladly receives all who come to Him. No one can have too much of His preciousness, sweetness, or loveliness; all He bestows is fresh and fragrant and satisfies forevermore.
Charles J. Rolls, The Indescribable Christ: Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: A-G (Loizeaux Brothers, 1984).