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I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. – John 6:48-50
Manna was a miraculous provision that God gave Israel during their wilderness wanderings. In this passage, manna represents the earthly ordinance. Manna was God-ordained, but it was also temporal. The bible says that after the sun came up, it would burn it away. Scripture also says that the people of Israel tried to save some of it, and it would begin to rot and become worm infested. God also quit providing manna when they finally reached the Promised Land. Manna is a perfect "type" of the Law.
Like manna, the Law is an ordinance of God. Manna came out of the earth. The Law is an earthly ordinance. Men look to the Law in earthly wisdom, and they try to keep the Law in earthly strength. Also, the manna was temporal, and the Law had a temporal purpose in God’s economy.
If you kept the manna and tried to subsist on it long-term, it would begin to decay and stink. That is exactly what will happen to you if you look to law and works for your standing before God. You will begin to stink. You become rotten. I have never seen a legalist who didn’t end his life in corruption and immorality. They keep their list of do’s and dont’s, but eventually become greedy, self-consumed, arrogant, and proud.
My friend, when Christ comes in, you have a heart change whereby gracious, beautiful, spiritual humility begins to touch and fragrance every aspect of your being. Instead of becoming decayed and rotten, you grow in Christ, and you become sweeter and your aroma becomes more pleasing, more attractive, and more beautiful. Oh, what a difference there is between the manna of Law and human ordinances and the bread of life, Jesus Christ!
So, joining the church is manna. Getting baptized, if that is where your confidence is, is manna. Taking the Lord’s Table, if that is what you’re looking to, is manna. Cleaning up your life morally, that’s manna. Being more ethical in your conduct, that’s manna. Jesus says you can keep looking to your manna if you want, but that’s what the fathers did. They ate the manna in the wilderness and died; but He says "I am the bread come down from heaven. If anyone partakes of this bread, he will never die."