Jesus Is the Bread for Us

John 6:31 “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'”

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven;

In the light of these two verses from John, consider now this verse from Matthew:

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”

“Every word” from God is summed up in Jesus.  In Him we find sustenance.  He is our meditation every day…all day.

Therefore:

John 6:27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

The bread Jesus has given us is Himself:

Ezekiel 34:23 “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.

This point is, of course, the thrust of John 6.  Jesus Himself is able to meet our daily need for spiritual nourishment.  (Our physical nourishment is supplied as a byproduct.)

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

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If You Are Going to Meditate the Word, Meditate Jesus

If you are going to meditate the word of God each day, be sure to meditate “The Word.”  (John 1:1; Revelation 19:13).  That is, be sure that you are meditating the word that is Jesus.

No line of the Bible should be read or meditated out of context.  Christ is the context.  Christ is the living word.

The words in your Bible point to Him whom you cannot see but who is nonetheless there.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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In the Old Testament God Makes Promises; In the New Testament, He Keeps Them

The Old Testament documents the promises God made regarding Messiah and the redemption of creation.  The New Testament documents how God kept those promises.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Luke 1:68

Luke 1:68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,

The Lord has indeed visited us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  And through the life He lived, the death He died, and the resurrection He achieved, He has truly accomplished the redemption of the people He created.

The Lord established a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).  These new heavens give us a place to go when life on earth is over.  During Old Testament days, all the dead went below to Sheol (Hades), but in the new creation there is no more such underworld.  This is the import of Revelation 21:1.  In our day, the dead all rise to heaven (the place He made for us – John 14:2).  Do not be among those who refuse to believe this great accomplishment of His:

Acts 13:40 “Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you:
Acts 13:41 ‘BEHOLD, YOU SCOFFERS, AND MARVEL, AND PERISH;
FOR I AM ACCOMPLISHING A WORK IN YOUR DAYS,
A WORK WHICH YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE, THOUGH SOMEONE SHOULD DESCRIBE IT TO YOU.'”

(The capitalized words are a quotation of Habakkuk 1:5.)

Our redemption is accomplished!  Past tense.  Therefore, let us rejoice in this day that the Lord has made.  There is no need to be afraid of death.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

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Jeremiah 51:44

Jeremiah 51:44 “I will punish Bel in Babylon,
And I will make what he has swallowed come out of his mouth;
And the nations will no longer stream to him.
Even the wall of Babylon has fallen down!

These words were fulfilled at the Second Coming of Christ when the dead were raised to heaven.  Sheol (Hades) was emptied of its contents, never to have power over humanity again.

Satan was dethroned…and death lost its sting:

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet…

1 Corinthians 15:55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?”

Revelation 18:2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!…

The close of the New Testament age marked the time when God brought in a new creation wherein death no longer reigned.  This is the eternal gospel.  This is the eternal age in which we live, and this is the eternal gospel which we believe.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

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Jeremiah 50:20

Jeremiah 50:20 ‘In those days and at that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.’

This verse speaks of the New Testament saints who were faithful to the end.  The angel of the Lord had promised Joseph that Mary’s child would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).  Paul wrote that Jesus was indeed purifying a people for His own possession (Titus 2:14).  Paul also wrote that it would be “the remnant” that was saved (Rom 9:27).

The New Testament period was a time of calling faithful Jews and God-fearing Gentiles to the Savior whom God had sent.  Many were called, but few would be chosen (Matthew 22:14; 7:13-14).  For this reason, the apostles’ letters are filled with exhortations to moral rectitude (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 1:2-11).  Paul said that “in the last days difficult times would come” (2 Timothy 3:1).

This is why Jesus warned His disciples to be faithful to the end:

Matthew 24:12 “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

The very last of the last days were particularly difficult (Matthew 24:21).  That’s why those who were faithful through it deserved the special commendation implied by prophecies like Jeremiah 50:20.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Jeremiah 50:6

Jeremiah 50:6 “My people have become lost sheep;
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside on the mountains;
They have gone along from mountain to hill
And have forgotten their resting place.

Jeremiah was prophesying of New Testament times.  God’s sheep had become lost and Jesus was sent to search for them, saying:

Matthew15:24 …”I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

This also Ezekiel prophesied:

Ezekiel 34:11 For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.

As for a resting place for the sheep, Ezekiel also said:

Ezekiel 34:15 “I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD.

Thus God took upon Himself human flesh and became the Good Shepherd who would seek the lost sheep.

The 23rd chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is Jesus’ indictment of the shepherds who “led them astray.”  In the 11th chapter of that same Gospel, Jesus spoke of the rest He would give the lost sheep:

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

(The capitalized portion of Matthew 11:29 above is a quotation of Jeremiah 6:16.  True and false shepherds is a prophetic theme of both Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  Of course, Jesus is the true Shepherd…and those two men looked forward to His day.)

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

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Jeremiah 50:5

Jeremiah 50:5 “They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

This is just as Isaiah had prophesied:

Isaiah 2:3 And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Thus, both Jeremiah and Isaiah were prophesying what would happen in the New Testament times.  New Testament days were “the last days.”  We live in the new age, which began after that.  This age in which we live is eternal.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Jeremiah 50:4

Jeremiah 50:4 “In those days and at that time,” declares the LORD, “the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the LORD their God they will seek.

This prophecy of Jeremiah’s was fulfilled in New Testament days.  That is, when we see Jews following the prophet from Nazareth, it reveals that they were seeking the one true God and living for Him.  Remember that Jesus said:

John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…

And He also said:

John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

The God of Israel was drawing His true devotees to His Son.  In pursuing the Son, these saints were coming home to the Father.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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Hosea 6:7

Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;
There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

The Old Testament could be described as a history of human beings breaking covenants with God.  This covenant-breaking begins with Adam and is manifested on the broadest scale as described in Israel’s experience in the promised land.  Their apostasies finally led to God vanquishing them from the very land that He had vanquished other sinning nations to originally make room for Israel.

Because of these broken covenants, God took on human flesh that He might establish a perfect covenant between a perfect man and a perfect God.  God thus established both sides of the agreement.  Therefore, Jesus could say on the night before He was to give up His life in sacrifice:

Luke 22:20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

This is the eternal covenant about which we read in the book of Hebrews:

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,

Because God has established both sides of this covenant, it can never be broken.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

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