THE LORD JESUS – THE BREAD OF LIFE
“I am that bread of life!” [John 6:48]
It is of the utmost importance to those of you who have spiritual life that you should feed upon the Lord Jesus. It is well to know everything that is revealed, for every Word of God is good and has its uses—and all Scripture is profitable— but the daily household bread, the substantial meat on which we must be nourished if we would grow strong for God and holiness, is Christ Himself! “I am that bread of life.” We do not get bread anywhere else save in Jesus our Lord. We may find certain minor things apart from Him—flavoring, ornaments and furniture of the table we may get from some other hands—but the bread, the real solid meat, the essence of the festival—is Christ Himself! So let us begin with Him in our discourse and continue with Him till we close our meditation.
Bread, Brothers and Sisters—bread is for living men and women, but bread is of no use in the tomb. Bread—shall we bring it to a sepulcher? Shall we roll away the stone? Shall we draw out the bodies swathed in linen? Shall we set them upright in ghastly posture and shall we put bread upon the table before them? To what purpose would it be? It would be a ghastly mockery! If you leave the bread there and visit again that loathsome banqueting chamber in a year’s time, the bread will remain untouched—for until there is life, there is no use for bread. And so, at the opening of my discourse, some of you might say, “Bread is intended for living persons. It is for men and women who are quickened. How can we feed upon Christ, for we are dead in trespasses and sins?” You speak most truly, but yet I have a marvel to relate which meets the case. Listen! That would be a strange kind of bread, would it not, which, being put into a dead man’s mouth, would make him live? Yet such is the Bread that came down from Heaven, whereof if a man eats, he shall live forever!
The first thing that we need, if we have life, is something for that life to feed upon. And here comes in the text—“I am that bread of life.” Your newly-discovered necessities Jesus can meet! Your newly-begotten needs Jesus can supply! Your hunger and your thirst can all be met, not by 50 things, but by one thing, by Jesus Christ Himself, in whom there dwells in fullness all that the spiritual life can possibly require!
JESUS CHRIST EXACTLY MEETS ALL THE NEEDS OF THE NEW LIFE. When a man is born again to God and gets a new life, he has new needs, new desires, new pains, new longings. He enters upon a novel condition, full of new needs and cravings— and the Lord Jesus Christ exactly meets the new case. As the key fits the wards of the lock, so does Christ fit the new heart and the right spirit. He knows how to touch the secrets of our soul and supply our most mysterious needs.
My Brothers and Sisters, if we do but get hold of Jesus Christ and feed on Him, He is sufficient for us—sufficient for gigantic labors, sufficient for anguish, for grief, for sorrow—sufficient for the weakest of the babes for He is the unadulterated milk—sufficient for the full-grown men among us, for He is the strong meat of the Kingdom of God. His flesh is meat, indeed! For your spiritual manhood there is bone, gristle, muscle, brain, everything that you need, in Christ. If you feed on Him, He will build you up, not in one direction only, but in all ways, for you are complete in Him— thoroughly furnished unto all necessities. Christ Jesus meets all the needs of all His people with a Divine sufficiency.
NOT TO FEED UPON CHRIST IS THE SURE MARK OF DEATH!
Terrible fact. The Lord Jesus Christ has said it—“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” A great preacher, but he does not feed on Christ? He has no life in him! A forward professor, but he does not feed on Christ? He has no life in him! A very knowing theologian and a clever controversialist—but he does not feed upon the Incarnate God? There is no life in him! A daring speculator in modern thought but he does not care, he says, for the blood of Christ—he even sneers at the mention of it! He has no life in him! Hard words? Hard words! Hard words, if they are true, are better than soft words if they are false!
But this is the sure test—“What think ye of Christ?” If He is not bread to your souls, you have no life in you! If anybody were to say to me, “I have a man at home who stands in my hall and has stood there for years, but he has never eaten a mouthful of bread all the time, nor cost me a penny for food,” I should say to myself, “Oh, yes, that is a bronze man, I know, or a plaster cast of a man! He has no life in him, I am sure, for if he had life in him, he would have needed bread.” If we could live without eating, it would be a cheap method of existence, but I have never discovered the secret and I do not mean to make experiments! If you are trying it and have succeeded in it so far that you can live without Christ, the Bread of Life, I fear your life is not that of God’s people, for they all hunger and thirst, by His Grace, after Jesus, the Bread of Heaven!
O my dear Hearer, once a professor, once a Church member, if you have given up Christ and you get on well without Him, you have no life in you! The dead can do without bread, but the living cannot! Jesus tells us, “I am that bread of life,” and if you are doing without Him, you are doing without the Bread of Life—and the reason is that you are without life itself!