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“The Bread of God”
“They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.” (Leviticus 21:6)
The phrase, “the bread of God,” is found only here in the Old Testament Scriptures. It is used in Leviticus 21 and 22 six times (21:6, 8, 17, 21, 22; 22:25). We do not find those words, “the bread of God,” anywhere else in the Bible, until we get to the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel. There our Lord Jesus Christ uses these exact words and tells us that they apply to him.
“The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” (John 6:33)
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
Obviously, When our Savior said that, he was referring to this 21st chapter of Leviticus and telling us that “the Bread of God” in the Tabernacle pointed to and typified him. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Bread of God, the Bread of Life to our souls. The showbread the priests offered continually upon the Table of Showbread pointed to him who is “the Bread of God.”
The Brazen Altar was the first thing seen by anyone entering the Tabernacle. The sacrifice must be slain. Its blood must be shed. The sin-atoning lamb must be consumed in the fire of God’s burning justice upon the altar of the Holy Lord God, before anything else was done.
Blood is paramount in the worship of God All religion without blood is vain, meaningless religion. All the beauty, pomp, and pageantry of religion without the blood is a worthless show.
The priest could not even see the Table of Showbread until the sacrifice was complete. Even so, we cannot feed on Christ, the Bread of God, until he is received as the sacrificial Lamb of God who shed his blood in our stead. In the worship of God, the Sacrifice is everything. The sacrifice of God’s dear Son is everything.
As the High Priest passed the Brazen Altar, going into the Holy Place, the Golden Candlestick would be on his left. The Table of Showbread was on his right. It was made of shittim wood, an incorruptible wood, which was overlaid with pure gold. The materials by which it was made speak of our Lord’s real humanity, his glorious divinity, and his unchanging character
Twelve loaves of bread were placed on the table, six in a row. Frankincense was put on these cakes, because the showbread was an offering made by fire unto the Lord. The table and the bread were considered as one. The word “showbread” might be translated “Bread of the Presence,” speaking of God’s presence. It is called “continual bread” (Numbers 4:7), speaking of our God’s continual presence with us and our abiding presence with him. The ancients called it “The Bread of Faces.” Here, in the Bread of God, in the offering of this Bread, we see the face of God. And in eating “the Bread of God,” we see our own faces.
Christ Our Bread
Our Lord Jesus Christ is “the bread of God.” This is what he tells us in the 6th chapter of John (John 6:31-58). The showbread consisted of twelve loaves made without leaven, representing the purity, holiness, and righteousness of our Redeemer. This showbread was placed on the golden table in the Holy Place every Sabbath. — Christ is our Sabbath, our Rest, the Rest wherewith the Lord causes “the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing” (Isaiah 28:12; Psalm 116:7; Matthew 11:28-30). The number of loaves was twelve, speaking of the twelve tribes of Israel, because Christ is Bread for God’s elect. There is in our Father’s house Bread enough and to spare for our needy souls
The making of bread is not easy work. And our dear Savior was made “the Bread of God.” He was made “the Bread of Life,” that we might live by him. To make bread grain has to be ground into flour. The flour has to be sifted. Then the bread must be mixed, molded, and baked. Making bread involves the planning and the work of determined hands.
So it was with the making of “the Bread of God.” He was made “the Bread of God” by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. He was formed as “the Bread of God” in the womb of the virgin by God the Holy Ghost. He was ground and sifted as “the Bread of God” in Gethsemane. And “the Bread of God” was baked in the fiery oven of God’s holy fury and wrath at Calvary (Lamentations 1:12-14).
The Lord Jesus first offered himself as “the Bread of God” and “the Bread of Life” to the holy, Triune God as our Great High Priest. Then, the sinner, when called by grace to life and faith in Christ as one of God’s holy priesthood, offers God this Bread of Life, Christ Jesus. And God gives us this Bread to eat. — Bring God’s Bread to God and God will give you “the Bread of God” to eat forever.
This we must do. We must eat this Bread. “The Bread of God” must be eaten by me or it can never be “The Bread of Life” to me (John 6:31-58). I have eaten this Bread. And this is the Bread I eat every day, throughout the day. The more I eat this Bread, the more I hunger for it. Let me tell you what I know by experience about this Bread.
The showbread, “the Bread of God,” was always on the table in the Tabernacle. So it is in the House of God. The Bread of God on the table reminds us of God’s unfailing provision. His name is Jehovah-jireh. The Bread of God on the table has frankincense with it, portraying Christ’s unfailing intercession. The Bread of God on the table is the place of family unity for the family of God, his “holy priesthood.” The Bread of God on the table is Bread to be eaten. And eating this Bread is life eternal. The Bread of God, the Bread of Life, the Bread of Heaven is all I need (Colossians 2:9-10).
Priests with blemishes are God’s priests still. Some have bald heads, others have crooked backs. Some are clubfooted. And some have twisted limbs. We all have our blemishes in this body of flesh, blemishes Satan is quick to point out to us, blemishes we see plainly. Blemished priests cannot offer the Bread of God. Only our unblemished Great High Priest could do that. But blemished priests are still God’s priests. And the Bread of God on the table in his house is placed there for blemished priests like you and me to eat.
“No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.” (Leviticus 21:21-22)
Poor, starving souls, trying to feed
On husks that cannot meet your need,
Behold, the Gospel Table spread —
Christ Jesus is the Living Bread!
Will life impart and life supply.
It fills the hungry with delight,
And never spoils your appetite.
This Bread of Life comes down from heaven,
By sovereign grace, it’s freely given.
This food and medicine to saints
Revives the weary and the faint.
This Bread the carnal cannot taste;
But heaven-born souls upon it feast.
Feasting, we feast and crave still more,
To eat and live for evermore.