Unleavened Bread (renewal)

(Exodus 12:15)  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

(Exodus 13:6-10) Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came up from Egypt.’ It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.

(Leviticus 23:6-8) And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.

(Numbers 33:3) They departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians.

The feast of Unleavened Bread immediately follows Passover and contains two special Sabbath days of rest, the first day and also the seventh day.  As leaven represents sin, this represents a period of partaking of nothing containing sin for this week.  Just as with Passover, the instructions concerning Unleavened Bread are described in Exodus 12-13.

The specific elements are:

  • Starting the day immediately after Passover you will eat unleavened bread for seven days
  • All traces of unleavened bread or any source of leaven must be removed from any person and their houses
  • The first day of the feast (Abib 15th) will be a special Sabbath rest day and a holy convocation
  • The seventh day of the feast (Abib 21st) will also be a special Sabbath rest day and a holy convocation
  • Anyone eating anything with leaven during these days, a native or even a stranger, shall be cut off from God’s people
  • This should be followed throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance

The principle remembrance of this feast is the provincial flight from Exodus immediately following the slaying of all of the firstborn of Egypt.  Although no bread with yeast was to be eaten or possessed during this time, the Israelites left with not just all of their animals and herds, but also all of their possessions and large amounts of gold and riches plundered from the Egyptians.

The key concepts here are not anti-materialism, but more of a turning away from sin. This also has a number of significant meanings for Christians today:

  • A clean sweeping of every trace of sin from our lives is essential. The death of Christ connected God with us across the Gulf, and in recognition of Christ’s efforts to connect with us we need to remove sin which separates us from Him.
  • The pure gospel and body of Christ is represented by unleavened bread. We should throw out all tainted gospel and false traditions which creep into the worship and communion with God.
  • We remove only sin, this is not abstinence or fasting. We are to keep the bread of life and gain uncountable treasure which we did not have when we were in bondage to sin.
  • Just as we remove any traces of leaven, not just leavened bread, we are true of all traces of sin including pent up hatred and anger.
  • The removal of sin has a communal aspect to it as well as a personal aspect. We should gather together on days of rest to discuss and meet together to heal relationships and atone for past sins, and also work privately to contemplate and act to remove traces of sin.

LOT & THE ANGELS

(Genesis 19:1-3) Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

GIDEON & THE ANGEL

(Judges 6:19-21)  So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.

PARALLELS

Sanctuary: The Laver

(Exo 30:18-20) “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die.

Separation of the Waters

(Gen 1:6-8)  Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

BIBLICAL ERA

This next time period has many parallels to unleavened bread.  The gap is between Noah’s time and the founding of Babylon.  This era starts with the genealogy in Genesis 10 and 11. The focus is upon the call of Abraham to follow God. Themes include division and separation from the worldly influences of Babylon (Gen 11 & Gen 13) a call to live apart from sin in anticipation of blessing, (Gen 12) separation from sin (Gen 17) the destruction of sin (Gen 19) following God by putting Him absolutely first in our lives (Gen 22) separation of Isaac’s wife from her people and a warning not to let Abraham’s descendants return to the land he left (Gen 24)

PERSONAL SALVATION

Unleavened bread represents the cleaning and renewing of life after the death of the old sinful condition.  By accepting Christ’s death we accept God’s forgiveness and His power leads to a purging of sin from our lives.

(Return to the Sabbaths of Leviticus 23)

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