I've been home now for about 2 weeks during the "shelter in place" declaration and have eaten my fair share of bread, especially my wife's homemade bread. So I've been thinking about bread more often than usual.
Bread is popular around the world and is one of the world's oldest foods. It takes 9 seconds for a combine to harvest enough wheat to make about 70 loaves of bread. Poor Ruth, it would have taken her a whole year.
Napoleon gave a common bread its name when he demanded a loaf of dark rye bread for his horse during the Prussian campaign. “Pain pour Nicole,” he ordered, which meant “Bread for Nicole,” his horse. To Germanic ears, the request sounded like “Pumpernickel,” which is the term we use today.
Living overseas, I introduced myself as Brad, and some people would then say that it’s a great name since they eat it all of the time. One guy said that he “eats me”. I’m like, “What?” You eat me! Then I realized that he thought my name was “bread”. I then politely corrected him and said that my name is Brad, not Bread. There is no “e” in my name, although Brad does mean provider.
Bread is mentioned 253 times in the Bible, and so it's very important. The Israelites were supernaturally provided mana in the desert for 40 years, and Elijah was supernaturally provided bread in Zerephath. Jesus was tempted with turning a stone into bread, but says to Satan that man does not live by bread alone (meaning that it takes more than just bread to live). Even more than we need bread, we need God. God gives us our health and life.
Then Jesus says in John 6 that He is the bread of life. Manna only provided temporary physical life. The Israelites ate it, and eventually died. Jesus is a Bread of a different kind. He is from heaven and gives life. A person who eats of that Bread will not die. Jesus said that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, which grossed them out. I believe that Jesus was not talking about the Eucarist or Lord's Supper, since that was not instituted for another year at the last supper. Eating the living bread was a figure of speech that meant believing in Him, like listening to him and seeing him. It was another figure of speech when Jesus said we must drink "His blood". Leviticus said that “You must not eat… any blood”. But blood was also understood as a means of atonement. It is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. Those who eat the living bread (believe in Jesus) and drink his blood (believe in His atonement) have found eternal life.
Now I have a hankering for some soft, homemade bread!