Monthly Prayer Focus

April 2017

Jesus, The Bread of Life

Written by: Thomas Sledge

As we enter this season of Easter celebration, we pause on a day known to many as Resurrection Sunday to remember the crucifixion and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In a village, a place called Bethany, located east of the river of Jordan, John seeing Jesus walking towards him proclaimed, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29).  Pause for a moment please as I share with you a personal story.  Growing up as a young boy, I remember, as all my brothers and sisters will attest to, my mother always cooking something good in the kitchen.  Moms was a great cook and there wasn’t anything that she couldn’t cook well.  I can recall sitting on countless occasions watching her clear off half the kitchen table to make bread.  Mom could make all kinds of breads, rolls, biscuits, and my favorite angel biscuits that I have not tasted since a youngster.  You may be wondering what are angel biscuits? I don’t know, I just know they were good! Anyway, I would watch Moms pour flour in a bowl, add some water, salt, sugar, oil, and yeast, and vigorously with her hands mix it all together like someone giving you a very intense deep massage.  She’d dump what was then in the form of a dough onto the table, and using this big wooden roller began to smash and pulverize that dough like a wrestler mangling their opponent into submission until that dough was flattened out across the table.  Once done flattening it to nothing, she’d then shaped the dough and with a glass cut it into portions, place them in a baking pan, cover them with a towel and let them sit while the yeast ingredient mixed into the dough caused it to rise.  There was nothing like Mom’s bread which leads us to this month’s prayer focus, ‘Jesus, the Bread of Life.’

 

In 1 Corinthians, 5:7, the Scripture reads, “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened.  For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”  In the Old Testament for seven days during the Passover feast only Matzo, yeastless bread, was eaten and tradition was to remove all yeast from your house.  Anyone that has worked with wheat will attest to the fact that once yeast is added, there is no way to get it out.  When you put a little yeast into flour and water, it grows and multiplies each warm second that they remain together. Early on a Sunday morning the Scripture says while it was still dark Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus to prepare his body for burial and found the stone guarding his tomb rolled away.  1 Corinthians 15:20, tells us that His tomb was empty and He, the First Fruit of them that slept, had risen.  In the Book of Acts 2:24 it is described like this, “But God raised Him from the dead, releasing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for Him to be held in its clutches.”

 

When I was a growing up, I watched, my mother take some simple ingredients like flour, water, salt, sugar, oil, and some yeast, put them all together to form a dough, massage it, roll it over, let it sit and rise a bit, and then put it in an oven fire.  It would come out of the oven smelling fresh, good, and ready to eat.  With her hands, she took some simple nothing ingredients and made them into something we all enjoyed and to this day I still want for more.  Jesus declared in John 6:51, “I AM the living bread which came down from heaven:  if any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I give for the life of the world.”  With His hands, He wants to massage you, submit and flattened you out, help you rise, put you in the oven and bring you out a new creature in Christ.  The yeast spoken of in this message forbidden to eat during the Passover celebrations represent the sinful nature of man since our ancestors Adam and Eve.  Romans 3:23 tells us that we all have (yeast) sinned, and have fallen short of God’s glory. But thanks, be to God.  You see, while we were utterly helpless against sin and in the likeness of not being able to remove yeast from bread, we couldn’t remove the stain of sin from our lives.  So, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. This Feast symbolizes the promise that the sin of man, represented by the leaven, is completely taken away. The Lord’s death fulfilled this for He’s the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29), and take it away He did, as far as the East is from the West. (Psalm 103:12).  He is the ultimate Matzo and declares if any man eats of His bread, he shall live forever.  Please join with us this month as we invite you to meet Jesus, the First Fruit of them that slept and is risen.  What better time than on Resurrection Sunday, Easter, to join with us in surrender and receive Jesus, the Bread of Life.

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