In the Lord’s Prayer, the verse containing “our daily bread” is positioned between the verses about God and verses about humanity. What is this “daily bread”? Why is it after the verses about God and before the verses about man?
Bread is woven throughout the Old and New Testaments. It is portrayed as sacred, food for the body, and part of God’s covenant. In Genesis, the High Priest Melchizedek, King of Salem offers bread and wine as a thanksgiving to the Lord God. In Exodus, God miraculously rains down supernatural bread from heaven in the form of manna. The Lord commanded that some manna be collected and placed in the Holy of Holies next to Ark of the Covenant and the Lampstand (Menorah). The Holy of Holies was God’s dwelling place on earth with his people. The bread He provided dwelled with Him in the Holy of Holies. Moreover, on each Sabbath the priests ate the bread as commanded by God as part of His covenant with Israel. The supernatural bread was part of the Sabbath liturgical celebration.
In the New Testament, Jesus proclaims that He is the true bread of life from heaven. Before His betrayal and crucifixion, He blessed bread and said take and eat, for this is my body, do this in remembrance of me. For, bread blessed in the priestly manner of Christ and in His remembrance is His true body. The “daily bread” is Jesus, the true bread from heaven – a new manna.
Manna sustained the Israelites as they journeyed in the wilderness to the land God promised them. This new manna, Jesus’ true body, sustains us as we journey on earth to a heavenly banquet, the wedding feast of the lamb, awaiting us. As manna was a foretaste of the honey of the promise land, the new manna is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.
Foreshadowed in God’s command to place manna the Arc of the Covenant and bread of the presence in the Holy of Holies next to the Ark of the Covenant is Jesus sitting at the right hand of God. The Holy Spirit, the tongues of fire of the Lampstand, is also foreshadowed dwelling with the Jesus and the Father in the Holy of Holies.
Jesus, “our daily bread”, is located between the verses about God and humanity, because in His mystical presence in bread and wine Christ Jesus brings God to us and us to God. Jesus is fully and completely divine and fully and completely man. He brings the Divine to us through His Divinity and reconciles humanity to God through his humanity. He is the door through which we must pass, the way we must travel, from our earthly existence to our new existence dwelling with God.