Author: David Wilber
Did you know that God gives us physical things to do in order to teach us spiritual principles? Indeed, He didn’t give us a bunch of random commandments just to watch us jump through religious hoops. He is a loving Father, and His Torah (instructions) is designed to teach us His character and His truth. Every “jot and tittle” in God’s Word has a profound Spiritual purpose—whether or not we recognize it from our limited perspectives.
With that in mind, as we approach this season of Unleavened Bread, the Bible tells us to do a couple of things that might sound strange. However, after you consider the spiritual lessons they teach, you’ll be amazed at how creative and practical our God is! His feast days are designed to help us grow spirituality. They’re “wedding rehearsals” to help us prepare to meet our Bridegroom. Let’s take a look:
In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. (Exodus 12:18-19)
There are two commandments given in the passage above:
1) Eat unleavened bread
2) Remove the leaven from your home
The first commandment states that we are to eat unleavened bread for seven days. Why? The Bible actually gives us one of the reasons in Deuteronomy:
Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste—that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 16:3)
The Israelites didn’t have time for their bread to rise when they left Egypt, so we see here that the purpose of eating unleavened bread is to help them recall their deliverance. God wants us to remember that the basis for our relationship with Him is that He delivers us (see Exodus 6:2-8). There is nothing we have done to earn His love. He “heard the groaning of His people” and acted simply on the basis of His great love. For believers in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), this commandment has an additional layer of depth. Yeshua, our Passover lamb, has delivered us from the slavery of our sin—our own “Egypt,” if you will. Therefore, celebrating the feast by eating unleavened bread every year is an affirmation of the Gospel and a celebration of our redemption through the blood of Messiah.
Concerning the second commandment, this can be seen as the process of sanctification that God wants His people to go through. After the exodus from Egyptian slavery, The Lord allowed the Israelites to wander the desert for 40 years. Why? Because although they had left Egypt, Egypt had not yet left them. God was using the desert experience to purify His people and remove everything from them that was not of Him.
With that in mind, leaven in the Bible is often symbolic of sin. Thus, the command to remove leaven from our homes is designed to teach us to examine our hearts. It is a time of introspection. It is our own desert experience. As we explore every corner of every room in our homes for literal leaven, we are to ask God to search every corner of our hearts to reveal the spiritual “leaven.”
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, 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 5:7-8)
In addition to removing the literal leaven, some people might remove anything that could potentially cause spiritual corruption in their homes. Do you have old movies, music, or books that cause you to stumble in your pursuit of holiness? If so, this is the season to finally throw those things away. Unleavened Bread is a time to be intentional about getting rid of any baggage that might be holding you back.
Friends, let this upcoming season of Unleavened Bread be a time of pursuing God on a deeper level like never before. Let this be the season to let go of that particular secret sin, addiction, or selfish agenda that you’ve been holding onto. According to Scripture, our sins—no matter how small—will eventually consume us: A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9). It’s no wonder, then, why God gave us this wonderful feast day! He loves us and desires for us to be healthy and spiritually pure, not only for the sake of His great name, but for our sake as well! Sin is grievous and destructive. Let us therefore remove the leaven from our homes and our lives.
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