Bread was baked daily in the ancient world. Made from a variety of grains (barley for the poor and wheat for those with money), it was usually shaped into small round loaves that looked more like rolls or buns than the large loaves of bread we eat today.
Because bread was a primary staple, it was also used in various aspects of worship. Cereal offerings took the form of loaves or cakes, and bread was also used as a firstfruit offering or a peace offering. The Bread of the Presence, consisting of twelve loaves of unleavened bread, symbolized the covenant between God and God’s people.
Displayed in the temple sanctuary next to the Most Holy Place, it served as a constant reminder to the priests and the people that it was God who sustained the twelve tribes of Israel. Psalm 78 speaks of how God’s people were fed in the wilderness – they ate the bread of angles.
Bread also played an important role in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In fact, the bread that was consumed at the Last Supper, as well as the bread Jesus shared with the two travelers in Emmaus, was probably unleavened bread since both meals occurred during Passover Week.
Let us pray: Lord Your Son Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life. I find myself feasting on so many other things that do not give me life – in fact some take the life right out of me. Lord I want to feast on You – I want Your Word to fill my total being and transform me into what You desire of my life. I want to be a willing soul on fire for You and Your Kingdom. It is in the Name of the One who is the Bread of Life that I pray – Jesus. Amen.