Christmas isn’t the time of year when our thoughts naturally turn to the Last Supper—or what the Jews called Passover. But that particular Passover is critical to Christmas. After breaking bread and giving it to His disciples, Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is My body” (Matt. 26:26). Breaking bread was a traditional part of Passover, but adding “this is my body” was a striking departure from the familiar liturgy. The disciples must have been bewildered.
Later the meaning became clear. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means “house of Bread.” He was laid in a manger—a feeding trough. He once said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh” (John 6:51).
The prophet Micah indicated that One born in Bethlehem would rule over Israel (5:2). But not until Jesus came did anyone realize the uniqueness of this Kingdom. Christ’s rule would not be imposed upon anyone; it would be imparted to those who accepted this new citizenship.
As we sing of Bethlehem’s manger, let’s remember that the heaven-sent infant King came so that we might “eat this bread” and partake of His divine nature.
Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above,
Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love. —Lathbury
Only Christ the Living Bread can satisfy our spiritual hunger.