The pitiful hunger and thirst of the children in Lamentations 4:4 struck me.
The tongue of the infant clings
To the roof of its mouth for thirst;
The young children ask for bread,
But no one breaks it for them.
They are asking for bread, but there is no one who fulfills those needs. Although verse 4 implies that no one has bread to feed the children, the previous verse implies that no one cares to give bread to the children. Jeremiah notes the cruel care, exclaiming, “Even the jackals present their breasts to nurse their young.”
The situation described in Lamentations, especially Lamentations 4:4, paints a picture of life without Christ. Like the Israelites in Lamentations, we were in bondage; we were facing judgment; we were starved and destitute. As something vital to life and happiness, bread symbolizes life itself. So, on a spiritual level, there was no one on earth who could or cared to give us life.
Enter the Bread of Life. He was born in a manger as a sign that He would feed the world. Then, in love, He laid down His life for us all. “I have come that they may have life,” He said, “and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).”
Unlike physical bread, which only temporarily satiates our hunger and merely keeps us alive, The Bread of Life satisfies us forever and gives us eternal life. Additionally, whereas physical bread must be purchased, the Bread of Life is free for all to enjoy. As Jesus said in John 6:
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst….
I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world…. (John 6:35,51).”
This is why Christ declares several verses later, “My flesh is food indeed and My blood is drink indeed.”
Christ responded to the call of the children in Lamentations 4:4 when He suffered on the cross. As it is written in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25:
The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Whenever we take Communion, we partake of this feast that Christ has set. We become one with Christ. As Jesus said in John 6:55, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”
Additionally, we are reminded of what Christ has done for us, the life He gave so lives could be saved from death. As 1 Corinthians 11:26 says, we “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”
LAMENTATIONS 4:4 REVERSED
The young children are asking for bread,
But no one cares to break it for them:
I have seen the starvation they’re in,
And My heart stirs with love for them.
Broken so all mankind may be fed,
I will give My life to them.
Oh come, all ye who hunger for bread:
Eat of the feast I’ve set for you then.
This is my body which I break for you;
Eternal life to you it gives.
It’s the only bread that will satisfy you,
And all who eat of it will surely live.
Julie Paul is a first-year university student in Alabama. Julie loves to spend time in God’s Word, write poetry and worship songs, and play the keyboard and violin.