#341 Passover Perspectives Exodus 12: Living Unleavened
Leaven cleansed from your homes Exodus 12:15 “For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh shall be cut off from Israel.” Exodus 12:18-20 “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land. You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.”
We celebrate the delivering power of Christ in our lives by living an ‘unleavened life,’ a lifestyle that seeks the holiness of God. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 We are empowered to live this holy life as followers of Christ throughout this Gospel Age and the seven stages of the Church. Our spiritual life and blessing depends on our feeding on the example of the holiness of Christ and our surrender to him as he lives his holiness through our lives. This lifestyle of purity is possible only as a result of the Passover-deliverance in our lives.
Exodus 12:34 “So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders.”
The Bread of Affliction
On the first Passover the Hebrews had no time to cleanse the leaven out of their homes. That direction was to be followed for the celebration of future Passovers. But The LORD instituted the original eating of unleavened bread by the haste of the journey. There was no time for the leaven to make the bread rise for the Passover meal and the bread they left Egypt with would have been unleavened. The leavened bread is referred to as ‘the bread of affliction.’ “You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), in order that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 16:3
It was referred to as the bread of affliction because it was prepared while in a state of stress and hardship as they hastily left Egypt. (Soncino)
I heard the thought years ago that the bacteria for leavening is in the air, and so is the opportunity to sin. We are vulnerable from the inside as well as from outside influences. But if rightfully prepared and engaged in our Christian journey, we have no time for sin. We have a standing of innocence in Christ and we live a sanctified life through his power amid the influences of Egypt. These choices are challenging in the face of old habits from the old life, and are both a source of celebration and an experience of affliction.
We are to celebrate the feast that commemorates our deliverance with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Corinthians 5:1-7 admonishes us to cleanse out the old leaven, the old issues of sin, that you may be a new lump (of dough) just as you are unleavened (in your standing of innocence through Christ’s merit.) We have the privilege of celebrating the sacrifice of Christ by choosing a lifestyle that matches our standing of innocence in Christ. We celebrate Jesus sacrifice and the deliverance it brings us by living a lifestyle of purity. The cleansing in this context includes the cleansing of the leaven in our hearts as well as the leaven in our fellowship. We need to deal with the sin in ourselves and be a support and help for others to deal with their sins, all the while mindful of our common vulnerability and need for the strength and sacrifice of Christ. Galations 6:1-10