|THE MYSTERY OF THE MANNA
I AM REVEALED
May 20 2012
true bread from heaven. (John 6:32)
desolate wilderness for forty years! There were no trains running from Egypt and no local bakeries. However, each
morning, God provided nourishment and sustained the Hebrews during their wilderness wanderings. This simple bread
from heaven was a picture of the coming Messiah.
From the first day of the week (Sunday) to the sixth day of the week (Friday), small white droplets fell from heaven onto
the ground and were collected early each morning. It fell like dew on the ground (Exodus 16:14). There is much
spiritual symbolism surrounding this manna, which was called the bread from heaven and angels’ food (Psalm 78:25).
When Israel saw the small white wafers lying on the ground, they called it manna. The root word for manna in Hebrew is
mah, which simply means “what.”
it?” This was the first time God had sent His people bread from heaven. However, it would not be the last. Centuries
later, Christ, the “true bread from heaven” would be sent to Earth, and multitudes would question, “Who is He? A man,
a prophet, a god, or the Messiah?”
THE CORIANDER SEED
The Bible gives a detailed description of the manna:
was like wafers made with honey. (Exodus 16:31)
And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.
bowl of coriander seeds that were painted white, which gave a perfect imagery of the manna God used to feed the
When you look closely at a coriander seed, you will observe small furors, or “stripes” on the outer shell.
When combining all of the information on the manna, we discover the following:
In John chapter 6, Jesus spoke about the manna, or the bread God sent from heaven for Israel in the wilderness:
Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and
giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto
them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never
thirst. (John 6:32-35)
manna gave life to those on their journey, Christ came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:
10). Manna was something Israel had never seen before on Earth, and Christ was someone mankind had never seen
before on Earth. When Israel saw manna in the wilderness, they asked, “What is it?” When the people of Israel saw
Christ, they wondered, “Who is He?”
Manna was white, a color that represents righteousness in the Bible (Revelation 19:8). The manna was striped, and
Christ bore stripes on His body. Manna was to be eaten every day during Israel’s journey, and Jesus is the true bread
from heaven. If manna was eaten daily, then this is another pattern indicating how we can partake of the true bread
from heaven each day through the bread and cup of the Communion meal.
It is interesting to note that God instructed Israel to gather a double portion of the manna on Friday so they would not
need to work on the Sabbath day. On one occasion, the Hebrews attempted to store some for the next day, even
though it wasn’t the Sabbath, and the manna spoiled, began to stink, and produced worms. This is because the people
disobeyed God and would not follow His instructions, just as today some believers begin to walk in disobedience and
eventually bring the displeasure of God upon their lives.
MANNA IN THE POT
Israel needed fresh manna daily, and any attempt to store it (except on Friday before the Sabbath) caused the manna
to spoil. Moses, however, instructed the priest to place a golden pot with manna inside the ark of the covenant. Inside
this gold box were three items: the manna, the rod of Aaron that had blossomed, and the two tablets of the Law written
on stone (Hebrews 9:4). Each item represents a special blessing from God.
The manna represents salvation since Jesus is the Bread of Life and salvation brings eternal life. The tablets of law
represent sanctification, a blessing that separates you from the power of sin controlling your life. Aaron’s rod was used
to produce miracles, which is a picture of the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit.
The manna in the ark never spoiled during the entire journey of Israel in the wilderness. I believe this is because the
tangible presence of God rested continually on the ark of the covenant; therefore, it was impossible for the manna to
spoil as long as it remained in the ark of the covenant. Christ died and His body was wrapped in linen and laid in a
tomb, but His body did not see corruption (Acts 2:27). According to historians, the body was placed on a large
rectangular-shaped stone slab. At the Resurrection, the disciples saw two angels sitting on the slab, one at the top and
the other at the bottom where the body had laid. This imagery is a picture of the mercy seat on the ark of the
covenant. It was a gold rectangular-shaped lid with two golden angels facing each other. The imagery in the tomb is
the imagery of the mercy seat of the ark! Just as the manna did not corrupt in the ark in Moses’ time, the body of Christ
did not corrupt the tomb!
THE MANNA AND THE BODY OF CHRIST
During Christ’s ministry, He broke bread with His disciples, and the early church broke bread from house to house. At
the Last supper, Christ took bread and said, “This is my body” (Mark 14:22). During the Communion supper, the bread
is a picture of the body of Christ. The Bible says that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our
iniquities (Isaiah 53:5). These wounds and bruises were physical marks placed upon Christ’s body when He endured
the violent beating with a cat-ó-nine-tails, a short-handled whip with nine long, leather straps embedded with pieces of
metal. These wounds provide for our healing (verse 5). Other wounds were caused by the piercing of nails in His
hands and feet. The cut in His side was created by the spear of the centurion. The preview to Christ’s beating can be
seen in the wilderness manna.
THE MANNA WAS BEATEN
Before the manna was eaten and the people received nourishment from the heavenly bread, it was necessary for the
manna to be beaten and crushed:
made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. (Numbers 11:8)
beaten, so was the eternal bread from heaven, Jesus Christ. His flesh was cut into bloody ribbons to provide healing for
mankind. The beaten wilderness manna was then placed in a pan where a fire was used to bake the manna. Christ
predicted that after His death on the cross, He would descend into the lower parts of the earth (Matthew 12:40;
Ephesians 4:8-10). Now, through the Lord’s Supper, we remember the Lord’s body when we partake of the bread.
THE HOAR FROST ON THE GROUND
Another beautiful picture of Christ’s body and His atoning work is hidden in the story of the wilderness manna. The
Bible compares the manna to a hoar frost covering the ground.
small as the hoar frost on the ground. (Exodus 16:14)
word for hoar frost is kephowr, a word that is akin to the word kippur. Yom Kippur is the Hebrew phrase meaning the
Day of Atonement, the sixth appointed season among Israel’s seven feasts. It was the day when the high priest entered
the holy of holies and sprinkled blood on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant to atone for himself, the priests, and
the people. The word atonement is mentioned eighty-one times in the Bible, and seventy-three of those times the
Hebrew word is kaphar, meaning “to cover, to appease, and to purge.” The word describes the process that occurred
after a sacrifice was offered before God. When the blood was poured out, God knew that it covered sin and purged the
conscience of the offender. Many blood offerings were atonement offerings for sin and transgression. Since the hoar
frost on the ground is a Hebrew word used to identify the Day of Atonement and means “to cover and appease,” it was
as though God was looking ahead in time when the true bread from heaven, Jesus Christ, would come down and spill
His blood on the ground to atone for mankind!
Today, the Jewish bread used during Passover is a perfect picture of the body of Christ. This bread, called matzo
bread, is white and shaped like a square, with long brown rows and holes piercing through the surface. This bread is
baked without leaven (which represents sin) and is slightly browned on the surface. The lines running across the bread
are a picture of the furrows placed in the back of Christ during the scourging. The holes represent the piercing the
Messiah bore in His hands, feet, and side, while the brown spots remind us of the bruises on His body. The manna was
like a coriander seed, which has small furrows over the surface. The manna was a picture of the beaten body of the
coming Savior who would bring salvation and healing to those who would eat the true bread from heaven.
THE TRUE BREAD
Just as the wilderness bread gave life and strength, sustaining the entire nation of Israel, the church, which is a chosen
generation and a holy nation (I Peter 2:9), must continue in the life and strength of the Lord through His Word, His
Spirit, and through a fresh understanding and revelation of the Communion meal. Christ made it clear in John chapter 6
that those who would partake of His blood and body would receive life and would be a part of the resurrection of the
flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in
me, and I in him. (John 6:54-56).
multitude got up and walked out in the middle of the sermon! Jews do not eat blood in any form, according to the Law of
Moses. Clearly, they misunderstood the message, as they did on other occasions. He was not speaking of literally
eating His body and drinking His blood, just as when He spoke of destroying the temple and rebuilding it again He was
not speaking of the temple in Jerusalem but about His own death and resurrection (John 2:19-21). Eating His flesh is
the bread and drinking His blood is the fruit of the vine of the Communion supper.
THE FRUIT OF THE VINE
When the New Testament speaks of wine, most people immediately picture a bottle of fermented wine. In the Bible,
however, the word wine is also used to describe grapes when they are still hanging in a cluster (Isaiah 65:8). In the Old
Testament there are several different Hebrew words that distinguish between fermented and unfermented wine or
strong drink. In the New Testament, however, there is one common word for wine, the Greek word oinos, which makes it
difficult to distinguish between fermented and unfermented.
When Christ held up the cup at the Last Supper, He called it the “fruit of the vine” (Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:
18). Grapes were called the fruit of the vine and the pure grape was used at the supper. Jewish sources indicate that
during a Jewish Passover Seder, three parts water is mixed with the wine so that any alcohol content is reduced
significantly. They do this because children partake of the Passover Seder. The early church father Justin Martyr,
when giving instructions for Holy Communion, wrote, “Thereafter the supervisor receives the cup, in which the wine and
water are mixed,” indicating that the Passover cup used Communion in his day was a mixture of wine and water, as was
used in a Jewish Seder, according to the Commentary on the New Testament From the Talmud and Hebraica.
The mixing of the wine with water is unique when you consider that at the Crucifixion, Christ shed all of His blood, and
when the centurion thrust the spear into Christ’s side, both blood and water came forth (John 19:34). At the ancient
tabernacle and Jewish temples, two substances were in the water in the laver and the blood on the altar. Jesus was
baptized in water, His sweat (water) was mixed with His blood at Gethsemane, and on the cross the blood and water
poured down His side. Consider the parallel of how our redemptive process comes through faith in Christ’s blood and
how it is sealed in the water of baptism!
the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the
Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth,
the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (I John 5:6-8)
8). Christ was a sinless sacrifice:
Being born of a virgin, Christ’s blood was not tainted with the original sin of Adam, since the seed of a human man was
not needed to conceive the Son of God. Because of His sinless blood (I Peter 1:19), I personally believe that it is best
to use the pure blood of the grape, or grape juice, when receiving Communion. In order for grape juice to ferment and
create alcohol, it needs a breakdown of the sugar to create bacteria. And bacteria in the juice would be like leaven in
the bread. To me, this would imply that Christ’s pure and sinless blood was corrupted in some form, thus limiting the
power of His redemptive blood as a sinless offering.
In John 15:1, Christ declared He was the true vine, and in John 6:32-35, He said He was the true bread from heaven.
The fruit of the vine in the cup could only be received when the grapes were crushed to form the juice or the wine.
Earthly bread is made from the grain of crushed wheat. Jesus compared His death to a grain of wheat falling into the
ground and dying, else it abides alone; but if it dies, it will bring forth much fruit (John 12:24). Both the wheat and the
grapes had to be crushed for the bread and the fruit of the vine, just as Christ had to be wounded, bruised, and
crucified to bring forth a covenant of eternal life.
THE TABLE OF SHOWBREAD
In the tabernacle in the wilderness and in both Jewish temples, the priests prepared holy bread that was placed on a
gold table called the table of showbread. The table was positioned in the second sacred chamber called the holy place,
against the northern wall. There were twelve individual pieces of bread representing the twelve tribes of Israel
(Leviticus 24:5). Each week the priests prepared the flour by crushing the wheat and sifting the fine flour twelve times.
The bread was baked with oil and frankincense. Each week the bread was eaten by the priests, and fresh bread was
baked for the table each week. Numbers 4:7 says that bread should be upon the table continually.
The Hebrew word for showbread means the “bread of face,” because the table of bread was located close to the veil –
the curtain that separated the holy place from the holy of holies. The bread was eaten weekly throughout the year.
This imagery reminds the believer of the importance of each week, during the Sabbath, receiving the bread of the Word
in your local church. Fresh bread was baked every week, and believers need fresh manna each week.
We again see the importance of both the holy bread and of receiving the bread. In summary:
Now that we understand the significance of the bread from heaven and the importance of daily Communion, we must
explore why an individual believer has the spiritual authority to partake of the sacrament, even if they are not a priest or
an ordained minister. The secret is found in the priesthood of the believer.
THE MEAL THAT HEALS, by Perry Stone, Copyright 2008, Charisma House.
|LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES