What is the breaking of bread that the Bible talks about?
In the Bible, the expression "breaking of bread" is a way of describing a shared meal. If a person eats alone, he does not need to break the bread, because there is nobody to share it with. However, if you are eating with another person, the bread loaf must be broken into pieces so that everyone can have some. The early church was described as having everything in common (Acts 2:44), and they studied doctrine together, prayed together, and ate together (Acts 2:42-47). This passage calls their common meals "the breaking of bread."
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The breaking of bread is also used in the Bible in an important, symbolic way. At the last supper, when Jesus ate with his disciples, He broke the bread and gave it to each of them. He called the bread "my body which is for you" (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). He instructed them to break bread together, and to drink wine together (which symbolized the new covenant in the blood of Christ) in remembrance of Him. This shared meal was a beautiful picture of our unity with Christ and with one another as believers. And when we break the bread, and share it, we are remembering that each of us is able to live and grow spiritually because His body was broken on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:24; John 19:31-33, 36; Psalm 34:20).
Jesus's body was literally torn apart during his hours on the cross, and even worse, his soul was torn from the presence of God (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Because of the brokenness He experienced, we are able to find healing in Him (Isaiah 53:5). The breaking of bread is symbolic of Jesus Christ in that from brokenness springs life. Even the bread itself comes from the broken grain, which contains another spiritual principle and symbol of the spiritual rebirth that is in Christ: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24). Jesus "fell" into the tomb, and as a result He bore much fruit—our salvation. At the same time, we "die" to ourselves in order to gain eternal life and bear spiritual fruit on earth (John 12:25).
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