What did Jesus mean when he referred to himself as the “bread of life”? The Jews really had a difficult time with that analogy, and for those who don’t understand today, it can be just as confusing. In John, chapter 6 verse 27, Jesus tells them, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” Then later in verses 47 through 50 he says:
“Very truly I tell you , the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
I believe that Jesus uses the bread analogy partially because the Jews were in the midst of discussing the manna that God sent in Moses’ day. Jesus uses that analogy to explain to them that any bread earth can provide is temporary. It may even spoil if we don’t eat it in a timely manner. But Jesus, being the “bread of life”, gives those who partake of him, eternal life. His flesh for bread, and his blood for drink may sound strange to those who don’t understand. But to those of us who do; to those of us who have accepted and have partaken of Jesus’ gift to us, the flesh and blood that he is talking about means our very salvation. If you are new to the Bible, don’t get tripped up with this analogy like the Jews did. Simply put, bread on earth only sustains life on earth. But Jesus will sustain us forever if we believe in him and accept his gift to us.
Jesus told his listeners that he is the bread of life. He said that if we eat, or partake, of him, we will live forever. When Jesus died, it was the act of his body being broken and the spilling of his blood that covered our sins, giving us eternal life. When his righteousness covers our unrighteousness, we can stand in the presence of a holy God. So I encourage you, if you haven’t already, partake of Jesus, the bread of life. If you do, you will live forever in heaven with God. But if you don’t, you will experience eternal death, or eternal damnation, in hell separated from God forever.