In our last few post we introduced the Holy Place of the Tabernacle and proclaimed that it is prophetic of Christ Jesus. Today we are going to investigate one of the objects found in the Holy Place, namely the Table of Showbread. We are going to look at the attributes and functionality of this Tabernacle object and then compare them to the attributes and functionality demonstrated in the life of Jesus. By making these comparisons we hope to demonstrate that Jesus is our Table of Showbread. In addition, we hope that each of you will gain a better understanding of who Jesus is, so that we may be able to better imitate our Lord and Savior.
Showbread means, “Bread of face” as it was to be continually presented before God as a meal offering from the twelve tribes of Israel. The table is made of pure gold and is covered by a blue cloth upon which the loaves rested. In addition, the bread is arrayed on the top of the table in the form of two rows of six loves, each loaf representing one of the tribes of Israel. Each of the loaves is also covered with Frankincense, which was considered a precious perfume.
God did not eat the bread but rather, it remained before the Lord (or shown) for one week. On each Sabbath the priests would replace the loves with fresh ones. Once removed, the bread would be eaten by the priests and their families who perceived it to be spiritual food.
The table of Showbread is symbolic of man communing with God in a way that is similar to the way that a family communes over the dinner table. It therefore represents the establishment of a close and personal relationship with the Father. In addition, the bread is also symbolic of Gods provision, of which we are forever grateful.
In the following sections, we will proceed to make the scriptural correlations between Jesus and the Table of Showbread. We will demonstrate that the Table of Showbread prophetically points to Jesus as the Christ. We plan to demonstrate that He is our Bread of Life, our daily provision of whom we are forever grateful.
Jesus is The Bread of Life
Support for the proposition that Jesus is the Table of Showbread can be found by examining the statements and actions of His life. In the following scripture Jesus proclaimed to be the Bread of Life which is a parallel to the loaves of showbread. This proclamation is then followed with supporting signs and miracles that reinforce His statement. These signs and miracles do not simply display the power and mercy of God, but rather directly support Jesus’ claim to be the Bread of Life. The following passage taken from the book of John captures Jesus proclamation of being the Bread of Life:
Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” 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. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” and Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:30-35)
In this statement Jesus claims that He is everything necessary to sustain life for those who come to Him. Shortly after His proclamations signs and miracles followed. Examine the following scripture for an example:
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few little fish.” So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 15:34-38)
This miracle substantiates Jesus’ claim of being the Bread of Life. Those who came to Him that day did not hunger or thirst. Jesus demonstrated that He is the Bread of Life by feeding the multitude with vastly insufficient resources. The power of God reinforced Jesus’ claim precisely.
Here is another example: Jesus is the living Table of Showbread that came from heaven to earth. If we eat of Him who is the Bread of Life we will live forever:
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever. (John 6:54-58)
Some say that we are what we eat. By eating the Bread of Life we become the bread of life for others, just like Jesus did for us. We eat the Bread of Life by reading the Word of God, and in doing so we take Jesus into ourselves. In this way we become more like Him. We also eat the Bread of Life when we partake in the communion sacrament as Jesus commanded us to do in remembrance of Him.
Of course Jesus’ claim that we should eat His flesh is a spiritual statement proclaiming everlasting life by becoming one with Him in the spirit. Think about the story of how God created the world. God spoke, his Word went out, and His Word accomplished God’s desire. Here is a passage from Genesis that proves the point:
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
The same principle is true of the words spoken by Jesus. After all, Jesus only spoke about the things that He saw and herd from the Father. So, it works the same way in our example. Jesus spoke the words the Father gave Him and those things came to pass. Jesus said He was the Bread of Life and His spoken Word accomplished God’s desire. In this case it was manifest in the feeding of the multitude and communicating His own identity.
Jesus is the Bread of Life. This statement is true both physically and spiritually. It is true that we who come to Jesus will not hunger or thirst in the flesh. It is also true that Jesus is the spiritual Bread of Life and those who follow Him will not hunger or thirst in the spirit but will have life everlasting. We eat the Bread of Life when we read about Jesus’ words and actions in scripture. When we read the words that He spoke we are literally taking the Bread of Life into ourselves and it becomes a part of us. When we receive the words that Jesus spoke they accomplish their desire in us. We eat the Bread of Life and we become what we eat. God’s Word is planted in us and we begin to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. The more we take into ourselves, the words of the Father and the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit, the more we are transformed into God’s purpose for our lives.
Once this has transpired, we obtain the ability to speak God’s Word into the lives of others. We speak to others of what God has placed into our hearts by way of the Holy Spirit. We speak the things that we hear Him speak and we do the things that we see Him do, and in the process, others come to eat the bread of life also. They take the Bread of Life from us and integrated it into themselves, and God’s Word is achieved in them.
Jesus left all things in our hands until His return. He said the things that I do, my followers will also do, and even greater that these things will they do. We become the Way and the Truth through our actions and words.
In our next posting we will look at the ways in which we can become the bread of life to others. If you have any comments I would love to hear from you. Until next time, may the love of God be with you.