Holy Week Devotion | Josh Shelley

I am the bread of life.
John 6

After Jesus miraculously fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish, he slipped away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (by walking on water! — but we’ll save that for another day). The next day, when the crowds managed to find him again, Jesus called them out, saying, “You are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (Jn. 6:26-27). He went on to declare to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty… For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (6:35, 40). 

See, these folks had shown up looking for another easy meal, but Jesus wanted to offer them so much more than a free lunch — he was offering his very self to them as spiritual food in order that they might receive his resurrection life. Far better than one good meal is the hope of a renewed and transformed eternity in which “everything sad [is] going to come untrue”, in which we will fully become the people God created us to be, and in which we will know and enjoy God forever.

When we step into our classrooms — or, for now, log on to our distance learning portals — we can be assured that Jesus goes with us and that he is empowering us in our work in order that it might become his work. But just like he was offering more than a free lunch to the people by the Sea of Galilee, he is offering more to us than just helping us get through the next workday. He is offering us himself as our very Bread of Life, inviting us into his resurrection life. As we prepare our hearts for Easter, let’s get ready to celebrate the beauty and power of the resurrection life of Jesus. Then may it be this hope of eternal life and spiritual sustenance that empowers us to do our daily work with him and for him. Amen.

Josh Shelley,
Class of 2013