My friends and I are walking through a series of messages entitled "jesusprays". We are looking at the teachings of Jesus so we can pray as...you know...Jesus prays.
This week I will be speaking on the Lord's Prayer and the part that says, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread."
Personally, I get stuck on "bread". This seems to be out of place since Jesus spends a considerable amount of time talking about how God knows what we need, and how he feeds the birds, and adorns flowers. Something in me says this part of the prayer does not have to do with hashbrowns, hamburgers, and hotdogs.
If you were a Jewish person, versed in the Old Testament, bread would be very important to you here's why:
Bread was a constant presence near the Holy of Holies. In 1 Samuel 21 King David enters Nob and demands the "bread" near the mercy seat of God. Also see Hebrews 9.2 which says, "A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place."
Manna which in Hebrew means "what is it?" was the daily provision of God for his people which they used like bread to feed themselves. They were required to trust God each morning for it; nice teaching tool don't you think? Provision and trust? Psalm 78.24 He rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was the ceremony at which the people of Israel sacrificed the Passover lamb, you know, the substitute sacrifice which saved the people from death? The image directly connects to Jesus in the New Testament. Mark 14.12
Matthew 14.7 records the multiplication of the bread loaves...miracle time!
Communion was inaugurated in Mark 14.22, the bread represents the body of Jesus.
In John 21.9 Jesus reconciles the rebel Peter on the seashore baking him...bread.
In Luke 24.35 Jesus revealed himself to two doubters in Emmaus when they broke bread together.
In Acts 2.42 and 2.46 the early church gathered around bread which they broke together at meals and in their homes with glad and sincere hearts. People came to know Christ through these gatherings.
And finally the greatest words on bread come from Jesus himself in John 6.48. I am the bread of life.
Jesus is the bread. He stations himself near the mercy of God, He is our daily need, our provision in whom we trust, Jesus is our personal miracle, our sacrifice substituting his death for ours, the reconciler of sinners, drunks and stoners, exotic dancers and preachers, and IRS agents and stark raving lunatics. He is the reason we gather to receive communion, the greatest revelation, the focus of the church.
Give us this day our daily bread...Give us Jesus. Only Him...none other....Fame can't satisfy...ask Greg Oden of the Trailblazers, money cannot mend a broken heart...see Tiger Woods on that one...and hope emerges when Jesus reveals himself to broken sinful people like you and me...ask the two dudes on the road to Emmaus. Give me Jesus.