Scripture Reading: Ex. 12:14-20; 1Cor 5:6-8 [Lev. 18:3-4] Purge out the old leaven!
In the Bible there is a vital connection between the past and the present as a preparer for the future. The Word of God is prophetic. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb was God’s provision for the redemption of His people Israel, who were slaves in Egypt and to the ways of the Egyptians; immediately, this redeemed people are told to have no leaven in their houses – put out the old; allow in no new. Then following comes the offering of first-fruits in the promised land leading to Shavuot (Feast of Weeks), with its new meal offering containing leaven, a great difference from what had gone on before (similar to the New Covenant, which is not like the Old Covenant).
Emerging from this, yet transcending it – for God has shown us a more excellent way! – is the Passover sacrifice of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, with His blood shed for redemption of all who believe that have been in bondage to the world and the sin of it; His burial removing the believer’s sins (leaven), and therefore the condemnation, and on account of this good news we confess and identify in baptism as having died to sin. The thoughts and the lives of the redeemed disciples of the Messiah were forever changed after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus whom they loved because He loved them, even unto the death of the cross, but it was only knowing and believing that He rose from the dead that dispelled their fears and despair and doubts. Their faith in the certainty of His being alive and firstfruits unto God led them on in joyful obedience and expectation to the fulfilling of the promise from God the Father through Yeshua the Son when the Holy Spirit filled the first 120 believers on Shavuot (Pentecost) as a new meal offering to God, made acceptable by faith in the blood of Jesus for redemption and salvation – both now and forever!
We live today in the light of God’s revelation when the end of the age is upon us and the coming of the Lord Jesus draws near. The Lord’s Supper of which we partake reminds us to remember His death until He comes at the last trump! Christ risen from the dead is our life, our righteousness, our hope.
What do the verses we have read regarding the leaven and the unleavened bread have to teach us in the context of the New Testament regarding our lives as redeemed people? Jews and Israel do it symbolically once a year for seven days throughout all generations; Christians and the Church are to live in the reality and substance of it day-to-day throughout all our days and years: purge out the leaven (the sin) from each our own hearts and life and from the congregation. Get out of the world quickly – bring no leaven with you, the thoughts and ways from which you were delivered; find out the Lord’s will for your new life – do not just do what others have done (Lev. 18:3-4); do not put in new leaven of malice and wickedness, or of [religious] hypocrisy, [scientific] rationalism, or [political] worldliness, which all defile the person. But rather, reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive unto God and righteousness; put off the old man and put on the new man in Christ Jesus throughout our lives! Whoever is born of God does not nor cannot sin as a characteristic or fruit of his life. (1John 3:9; 5:18)
The Lord redeemed us and brought us out of darkness and bondage in order that we should be holy, for He is holy, and that we should be His people and He would be our God – in fact more than this: that we as the Body and Bride of Christ would be a people through whom God can manifest His glory in Heaven here on Earth. We have a heavenly place and testimony to maintain, and to guard against Satan’s warfare against that truth and grace.
Why should we concern ourselves with what the only wise God and Savior obviously takes quite seriously? Because we show that we love Him when we obey Him, and also because through faith in the blood of Jesus, God has made us both holy and righteous (unleavened) in His sight, and we honor the Lord and His cross by living a life of faith which testifies to what God has done for us and to what He has called us to be.
How do we show that we are purging out the old leaven? How do we show that we are thankful for this great salvation and for YHVH who has done it?! How do we show that we have the righteousness which is by faith, and that our faith in Jesus Christ and His blood keeps us in this righteousness of God? What is the lesson of unleavened bread for us as Christians?
The answer is that which governed Yeshua Himself when He walked through the Land to glorify His Father in Heaven: to love and to do righteousness, and to hate and to stop sinning. (Ps. 45:7; Lk 1:73-75; Heb. 1:8-9)
–We are to be meek and lowly in heart.
–We are to love the brethren, even love our enemies.
–We are to overcome evil with good.
–We are to be honest in word and deed.
–We are to be compassionate towards the poor and needy amongst us.
–We ought to walk in a manner worthy of our redemption, of being called children of the God of glory, worthy of the sure hope we have as a promise from God. (Lev. 11:45; 19:35; 22:35-38; 26:13; Deut. 16:3; Lk 6:27-49)
This we can do only in the power of the Holy Spirit by forgetting ourselves and looking and thinking upon Him, who was crucified and is now risen in exaltation; by counting all things loss, not simply because of our deliverance, but because of the excellency of Him whom the Father has sent and received again, the Lord Jesus Christ!
He who knew no sin (unleavened bread) was made sin (leavened bread) for us that we should become the righteousness (unleavened bread) of God in Him!
Scripture Reading: Rom. 12:1-2 [Mk. 9:49-50] “Present ourselves as living sacrifices (whole burnt with new meal) to God. . . and be transformed by the renewing of our minds. . . .”
The appointed times of YHVH are fulfilled in Messiah, to be observed in reality throughout all generations. Amen.
Feed on Messiah, the Lamb of God, slain for our redemption and for the glory of God!