Beyond bread and wine

devotion column:Erasmus Makarimayi

WE ended last week by the chilling words of Jesus that the Israelite fathers ate manna but still died in the wilderness.

Jesus speaks in John 6:49-50, “[49] Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. [50] This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.”

So when manna which was said to have come from heaven was eaten, it could not give eternal life. The logical question to follow is what then gives life. It also points to the reality that matter, that is, bread and wine have no power or anointing to the life of the believer.

Scripturally we already know how we receive eternal life. We simply receive and believe the Gospel of Christ. Please remember the words of Jesus in John 10:28-30, “[28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. [29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. [30] I and my Father are one.”

In Christ we have eternal life and that life is everlasting. It needs no additives and cannot be aided by earthly or physical substance. We were saved by Grace and we are preserved by Grace. Apostle Paul told us in Ephesians 2:8-9, “[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

We have eternal life by the finished or accomplished work of Jesus. It’s unearned, undeserved, unmerited and humanly unattainable.

Those who have accepted the Grace of God, the Good News of Jesus Christ or His Glad Tidings find fortitude in Christ alone. The writer of Hebrews complements the doctrine of Christ in Hebrews 5:9, “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” Jesus is complete in Himself.

The word perfect means complete in this instance. We are still to answer whether we should get bread or wafers and wine from Israel to be doubly sure of our salvation and eternal life. Remember we have already noted that manna that fell from heaven was eaten and went out through the digestive system.

Speaking on defilement, Jesus already told us this according to Matthew 15:17 (New International Version), “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?”

So then what goes in and abides? Jesus answers succintly in John 6:33, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” I don’t know what will be simpler explanation than this.

What then do we have beyond bread and wine? Jesus directs us in John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

There’s innermost hunger and thirst that Jesus alone can satisfy and quench. Hunger speaks of the Communion bread and thirst of the wine or grape juice. Please remember Apostle Paul’s warning in Colossians 2:16, “Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” So don’t be scared by things of this material world concerning your fellowship and communion with God the Father in Christ.

Colossians 2:17 (Amplified) nails it, “Such [things] are only the shadow of things that are to come, and they have only a symbolic value. But the reality (the substance, the solid fact of what is foreshadowed, the body of it) belongs to Christ.” Surely in the presence of the reality or body, we cannot be wasting time chasing the shadow.

Verses quoted above have pointed to Jesus as the true bread that we should eat. How do we eat Him? Our task is simple and cut out. We simply have to believe in Jesus. John 6:40 reads, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

This is the reason why preachers/teachers of the Gospel of Christ simply present Christ and nothing else. Furthermore, Jesus tells us in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The Word of God is the answer. We need to read, study and pray it and meditate accordingly.

We are already told the efficacy of the Word. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Hold on to your Bible.

In the Old Testament we are told by Joshua in Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Please do yourself favour after reading this piece to read the whole chapter of John 6. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

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