As we celebrate The Resurrection of Jesus, I want to share with you what I saw recently when reading scripture. The Lord was highlighting some things that opened up my heart to understand the importance of breaking bread together. It is so much deeper than just gathering. I see, now, WHY Jesus gathered together often with His disciples in this way!
As we read Luke 24: 13-35, it’s a story about Jesus coming to chat with two disciples after he had resurrected. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened about the resurrection. “As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” Jesus asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.” Luke 24: 15-29
Yes, Jesus wants to stay with us and be invited in! Watch what happens when they break bread together:
“When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and began to give it to them.” Luke 24: 30
“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” Luke 24: 31
This was more than just a matter of simple recognition! Look at the next verse:
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?” Luke 24: 32
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.” Luke 24: 33-35
Let’s learn some things from these passages of scripture: They were on the road, on the way, to a village called Emmaus. The word Emmaus comes from a Hebrew root word that means “the burning place.”
When you encounter Jesus, more than just recognizing Him, you will experience His fire, a burning heart for Him. The more we communicate with him, the more profound revelation comes. He wants “hearts on fire” for Him! When the scriptures are opened up to our spirits, revelation occurs. With revelation comes the fire of God! That’s why the enemy will do anything to keep us OUT of God’s Word.
The Word of Life is the Bread of Life
I then asked: Why were they kept from recognizing him? The NIV Study Bible Note said this: By special divine intervention! I was not sure why Jesus didn’t reveal Himself to them at first. He asked them questions about what they were talking about. He loves conversation with us. He came to listen and to dialogue with them and to encourage them! He is so clever here! Jesus is saying “What things happened in Jerusalem? Who are you talking about, He asks.”
He now questions what they are testifying about—to make sure that when they see Him—they know Him! That’s the purpose of giving a testimony! To see who He is and then to know Him, to get to know Him—to lead others who need to know Him! The men were saying, vs. 21, “But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” They named him a prophet, powerful in word and deed, but DO NOT CALL HIM MESSIAH!
Did you catch this: When He broke bread with them, their eyes were opened! The Word of Life—The Bread of Life—is before us! His Word, becomes bread, then eaten and finally digested, becomes our nourishment! It was the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Give us today, our daily bread.”
Remember, the words of Jesus to Satan, during his temptation? “Man does not live on bread alone.” Luke 4: 4
Jesus The Bread of Life
If we look at the account of John 6: 25-29 we see Jesus revealed as the Bread of Life. Let’s look at these scriptures:
Vs. 27 “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”
This is our work: NOT SOMETHING TO BE ACHIEVED, BUT RECEIVED! We receive Him!
Vs. 28 “They asked him, What MUST WE DO to do the works God requires?
Vs. 29 “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: TO BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE HAS SENT.”
This is why on the road to Emmaus, Jesus kept asking them questions—THEY WERE NOT SURE WHAT THEY SAW AND WHAT THEY BELIEVED! When we break bread together and when we are in communion with one another, we are declaring what we believe! Maybe this is WHY Jesus wanted them to break bread with Him. It began in the early church formation! He wants us to BELIEVE!
Vs. 30-31 “So they asked him, what miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you?”
Believing in Jesus is greater than believing in miracles! Yes, we should believe in miracles, but do we want to see them more than believing in Him?
Vs. 32 “Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, it is NOT Moses who has given you the bread from Heaven, but it is My Father who gives you true bread from heaven.”
Look NOT to man, but look to Jesus! Always notice where the provision is coming from!
Vs. 33 “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Breaking of Bread Together Brings Bread of His Presence
In the Old Testament, God instructed what His requirements were for the Tabernacle furnishings and functions. The priests were to put the Bread of His Presence on this table to be seen (to be before Me) at all times. (Exodus 25: 30)
Traditionally, this bread of his presence was called “Showbread”. The Lord wants to show and display Himself, His presence, and not display any man.
Exodus 33: 14-15 Teaches us about Moses, the leader, who wanted to not just lead the people alone. He was asking God for His intervention. Moses then asked God for His Presence to be first as he led, and God responded: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
The correct response of any leader, as it was with Moses, should be: “If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
The Bread of His Presence
In the book of Leviticus 24 we learn about the oil and bread set before Him. The key thought in this book is about the holiness of God. The instructions given were to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come! The bread was to be displayed on the pure gold table before the Lord and before man, in the most holy place, in the Tabernacle.
“Take the fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf. Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the Lord. Along each row put some pure incense, as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the Lord by fire. This bread is to be set out before the Lord regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant.” Lev. 24: 5-8
Can you see it? The bread=His Word=His Life=His Spirit (Oil) are set before Him, before us, and for us.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23: 5-6
In the ancient Near East, covenants were often concluded with a meal expressive of the bond of friendship. Yes, I am a friend of God!
The book of Proverbs was written for us to gain wisdom. Here’s more wisdom, about bread, we can gain: Proverb 30: 8 says this: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me ONLY MY DAILY BREAD.”
Wow! What wisdom we can obtain from this. It should be a prayer! Actually, it lines up with the Lord’s prayer, when He was setting the standard for daily prayer!
Job 23: 12 says: “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”
His Words, his commands become our daily bread! We must not forget them!
Do Not Forget The Lord
I remember pointing out how much the Israelites grumbled the entire way through the desert, even when God was providing supernaturally for them. They were not happy campers! They even were ‘camping’ outside the tent! Pun intended!
I think they missed this fact: Deuteronomy 8: 3 “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
About The Manna
Manna = The Lord’s unique and supernatural provision for His people.” (Exodus 16: 1-4) Food was deposited from the heavens! That’s absolutely a miracle!
Did they see it? Did they recognize His provision? Did they understand God’s covenant and faithfulness?
Do we see as we should? Do we recognize and understand the faithfulness of His covenant? Here are some facts I learned, how to see, when I was being educated about Manna:
- Hebrew word for Manna suggests it was something unknown by the people at the time. It was eaten for 40 years until the very first Passover. (Joshua 5: 10-12)
Life Application: Revelation comes from daily bread–Communion with the Word of Life and Bread of Life. There is an “unknown provision” coming! Can we trust Him for that?
- Appearance and taste of manna is not something experienced by other peoples, in other times. (Exodus 16: 31)
Life Application: Your daily bread will not be anything experienced by others. Get your taste, food, from Him alone. No copying allowed or needed. Fresh bread is the provision!
- Daily abundance and its regular and periodic surge and slump cannot fit a natural phenomenon. (Exodus 16: 3, 22, 27)
Life Application: He will regularly feed you—even when it looks like provision is not coming!
- Its availability is in ample supply for the entire desert experience, no matter where the people were. (Exodus 16: 35) This is all supernatural substance!
Life Application: God provides for all needs. He stretches and provides in entirety! Forty years—provision came when they were in a time of testing! When God stretches our provision, when we are in a position to trust him alone, we are being tested!
- The keeping of a sample of the Manna in the ark for future generations, suggests it was a unique food. (Exodus 16: 33-34)
Life Application: God will feed you and the generations to come—Preserved in the ark! His presence preserves every part of us! That’s why we need Him—His presence!
YES LORD, GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD! No wonder this portion is called “The Lord’s Prayer!” It’s His cry for us to have His portion daily!
As we remember the price Jesus paid, He gave His life, so that we could have His life, a life in Him. He gave Himself, so we could have daily communion with Him, so we could enter into a relationship with him. Every word He has spoken shall sustain us, shall keep us fed spiritually, if we let it! The provision has been dropped down to us, just like it was released in the wilderness to the children of Israel. They were hungry; he provided. They were in need of being sustained; he sustained them. However, they had to take hold of what had been given. They had to pick up and partake what was imparted!
His ways are the same, yesterday, today and forever. His forever is my today, and my tomorrow. May He continually be my daily bread, forever! May I never forget the price He paid and the life He gave for me! Yes, He truly is the Resurrection and the Life, the Bread of Life, My Daily Bread!
Have a Glorious Resurrection Day! Enjoy breaking bread with your family!
Remembering The Bread of Life,
Mary Beth Pecora