Where I live, making homemade bread was more of a trend during the earlier days of the pandemic, but I’m a little late to the trend. I’ve started making my own bread more recently, and even though I’m new to the hobby I’m growing to love it more each time I do it.
Now, it’s difficult to find store-bought bread I like better than homemade. Sometimes as I make bread I think about how frequently bread is mentioned in the Bible. God used it as the subject of multiple miracles, from feeding a poor widow in 1 Kings 17:7-16, to feeding over 5,000 people in the Gospels. Not to mention, He fed all the Israelites with manna in Exodus 16.
Even such a simple food can be a powerful reminder of God’s presence. In my house, bread is one of our food staples. We’ve always had it around, even before I started baking it at home. If we ran out of bread, we would make a trip to the store.
In the Bible, Jesus refers to Himself as bread in multiple ways. After Jesus miraculously multiplied five small barley loaves to feed over 5,000 people, He told them, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, 48). Jesus explained that God gave His people manna from heaven to keep them alive in the wilderness. Similarly, Jesus is the One who gives eternal life to all who trust in Him. He is our life-giver. This symbol of a basic food that many of us eat regularly shows how Jesus will not abandon us. He is like the household staple we all need. But, unlike bread, He will not run out, and He has the ability to sustain us forever.
On the night before Jesus went to the cross, He broke bread and gave it to His disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Here again, God uses bread to show us that Jesus gave up His life for us by dying on the cross. And just as Jesus rose from the grave, He will also raise us and give us eternal life.
So, as I slice into my fresh loaf of bread, I’ll be excited to eat, but I’ll also be thinking about how Jesus sustains me and gives me life like a hearty slice of homemade bread. • Naomi Zylstra
• Why do you think bread comes up so often in the Bible? What do you think it means that Jesus is the Bread of Life? (If you want to dig deeper, you can read about Jesus miraculously feeding thousands of people in Matthew 14:13-21; 15:29-39; Mark 6:30-44; 8:1-8; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15…and about communion in Matthew 26:26-29; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.)
As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26 (CSB)