Saturday, 27 September 2014
…all ate the same spiritual food, 1 Corinthians 10:3
Not only were those brought out at the exodus “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,” but they also “ate the same spiritual food.” Again, Paul is showing that the food which sustained Israel is symbolic of the true spiritual food which we participate in when we receive the Lord’s Supper.
Exodus chapter 16 shows the first details concerning the giving of the manna (manna means “what is it?”). There is even a description of it as is recorded in Exodus 16:31 –
“And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.”
This “spiritual food” continued to sustain them for the entire time of their wilderness wanderings. Once Israel had crossed the Jordan, we read this in Joshua 5:10-12 –
“Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho. 11 And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day. 12 Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.”
The giving of the manna was never forgotten by the people of Israel and it is referred to at various times in both testaments of the Bible. Even the psalms, while recounting the wondrous deeds of God, remembered the manna which sustained Israel –
“Had rained down manna on them to eat,
And given them of the bread of heaven.
25 Men ate angels’ food;
He sent them food to the full.” Psalm 78:24, 25
But, like all things of this nature, the physical reality of the manna pictured a spiritual truth. Jesus notes this in John 6:31-33 –
“Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” 32 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'” John 6:31-33
The manna only anticipated the greater and true Bread from heaven, which is the body of the Lord Jesus. This then is what is pictured in the taking of communion, or the Lord’s Supper. It is a remembrance of the work of Christ, looking back on His cross until He comes again.
Life application: Taking communion at church has no meaning unless one has received Christ as Lord. Only when the heart is directed towards Christ does the meal take on any true significance. When you receive the elements, it should be done with a humble and grateful heart for the wondrous blessing of being included in the body of Christ.
Lord God, Israel had manna in the wilderness to sustain them for forty full years, but I know I have something much more wonderful. I have the true Bread of Life which came down from heaven to grant me eternal nourishment. I thank You for the honor and the pleasure of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and for the weekly blessing of sharing in the Lord’s Supper in anticipation of the day when He returns for His people. Even so, come Lord Jesus! Amen.