Without Him You’re Toast

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bread of lifeAre you a bread guy? Do you love bread? Piping hot, just out of the oven with butter smothered all over it?

How about toasted with peanut butter, honey or jam? Whole wheat, sour dough, rye, raisin, herb, cheese, garlic, focaccia, pumpernickel, sesame seed, poppy seed, multi-grain…whatever kind of bread, it’s all awesome. Gluten allergies aside, bread is pretty spectacular.

I am a huge bread fan. I have enjoyed a long rich relationship with bread. Warm or toasted is definitely better. Cold bread or cold buns are ok, but you pop that bun in the microwave, or cut it in half and put it in the toaster, and now it is heavenly, begging for butter and then either peanut butter or honey spread all over it. Unless it’s a croissant, then it’s butter and strawberry jam.

Do you put butter on your toast with peanut butter? I do. I know, I know, it’s redundant, but bread without butter (or a reasonable low fat, cholesterol free substitute) is like a kiss without a hug. A kiss is great, but it’s way better with a hug.

Anne used to bake bread regularly in one of those automatic bread makers. Have you seen those? They are amazing. All the machine does is bake bread – all different kinds apparently. You simply measure out the ingredients, dump them into the upright pan, put the pan in the machine and press the button. Four hours later you have an awesome, piping hot loaf of bread.

The first slice off the top is always mine. I cut off the crust, when it’s still warm, pop it in the toaster, then smother it with butter – spread very evenly and completely over the entire slice – then add peanut butter and chase it down with a glass of milk.

Oh man, that’s good eatin’.

I say “Anne used to make bread” because she quit doing it a couple of years ago when she got busier with her work. So, as of last week, I became the bread man in our house. I am baking bread on Saturday mornings. It is incredibly easy. Seven ingredients in the pan, pan in bread maker, push button, pull out pan when beeper sounds, shake bread out of pan onto cooling rack – voila! The house is filled with the scrumptiously enticing aroma of freshly baked bread.

I am so glad Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life.

Can you imagine what a bummer it would be if Jesus said, “I am the brussels sprouts of life.”? I hate Brussels sprouts – I threw up on them once when I was a kid and now that’s it for me. No more Brussels sprouts.

But Jesus said He is the Bread of Life. Delicious and delightful. And don’t worry about the gluten thing for those of you who have a gluten allergy – Jesus is good for everyone to consume.

That’s what thinned out the crowds who followed Jesus if you recall. He fed them bread – remember the loaves and the fish? That spiked his popularity, but mainly with people who were simply looking for a free meal. People who just wanted Him to provide for them, to give them what they wanted. He got to the heart of the matter when He said that He is the Bread of Life and that we need to eat His flesh and drink His blood to have real life – that’s when people hit the road thinking He was off his rocker.

Jesus was saying that He is the only real source of life. Anything other than Jesus is an unreasonable facsimile – not the real deal, not real life. Sadly, we often try to find life outside of Jesus: success, money, cars, trips, promotions, big houses, tools, toys, power, sex, lust…the things of this world.

The reality is though, Jesus is the Bread of Life. We are only truly alive when we feed on Him – when we go to Him for life. When we commune with and consume Him.

Where do you go for life? Do you feed on the Bread of Life, or are you feeding on that which does not lead to life?

Jesus – the Bread of Life – without Him, you’re toast.

John 6:53-57

“Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.’”

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An Invitation to Live in God-breathed Wholeheartedness.