The prophet Isaiah is drawing on the imagery of how The Lord fed his people during the exodus from Egypt. The Lord gave them bread from heaven having all sweetness within it. Every day the Israelites gathered the manna, but just enough for a day. He fed them without price. And he offers more than just bread for the stomach. He offers us eternal bread that satisfies the soul. "I will renew with you the everlasting covenant." If we listen to the prophet Isaiah again, we can hear the Lord pleading and begging with us: "Come! Come! Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life!"
We work so hard and become anxious for all sorts of things that do not last and do not satisfy. The Lord wants to give us for free something that satisfies and lasts forever! "Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy?," says the Lord. God is longing to satisfy us with what satisfies forever!
When Jesus sees the crowd, "his heart was moved with pity for them." "Moved with pity." The Greek uses much stronger and richer language. It means to be moved in the innermost depths of the heart. Jesus is disturbed in his soul with his desire to heal and feed his people.
Today, Jesus sees you. He longs and desires to heal and feed you from his altar. Are you hungry? Come! "Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my body," says the Lord. Are you thirsty? Come! "Take this, all of you, and drink for it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant," says the Lord.
Come! Eat! Drink! And be satisfied!