So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. (Exodus 12:14-15)
The particulars that we’ve discussed over the last few devotions have focused on the blood and the lamb but there are other important things to consider. On the night when Israel gathered behind their doors to partake of the lamb, they also were to partake of matzah or unleavened bread. This component of the observance was to continue and be memorialized for all time. To this day, Israelis and many Christians honor Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
As the first day of Unleavened Bread approaches, all leaven (yeast) is removed from the homes of the faithful in preparation for the seven day festival. For seven days, God’s people are to eat only unleavened bread as an expression of their desire to remove all forms of contamination and sin from their lives. Even in the New Testament, leaven is the symbol of corruption, the evil inclination and sin. Paul pointed this out for us:
“Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Messiah, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8)
Abstaining from leaven is intended to teach a person to abstain from other passions more deadly than a piece of bread. The idea is if we are able to curb our appetite for a piece of bread containing yeast, we might be more inclined to resist temptation in other areas. Moreover, the unleavened bread is to remind us of the sacrifice made by the Messiah in that, “He who knew no sin (was made) to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We are to follow the example established by the Messiah. He lived a life without corruption that we may be regarded by our Creator as being guiltless — unleavened. Therefore it behooves us to make sure to clean the leaven out of our “house” every day that we may continue to walk in a way that is pleasing to Him.
Blessings and Shalom,