Unleavened Bread

followFollow Me: Deliverance[1]

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 12:14-20 [2]

On the day the Passover lamb was slaughtered the festival of unleavened bread began. On the 14th of Abib the Hebrews’ were required to remove yeast from their houses and hold a sacred assembly. Yeast must not enter their houses for the next seven days, because the penalty for eating anything with yeast in it was severe. That person would be cut off from the community. On the 21st of Abib another sacred assembly was held. The first and last days of the festival were also Sabbath days. The preparation of food was the only work permitted.

Jesus interpretation of leaven gives the lasting ordinance of annually removing yeasts, which leavens bread, and eating unleavened bread for seven days greater significance. Jesus admonished his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Having only one loaf among them, the disciples assumed Jesus warned them not to take bread from the Pharisees and Sadducees. A frustrated Jesus who had just fed 5,000 with a few loaves reminded them of that fact. Then the disciples understood he was talking about the doctrine or teaching of the religious leaders.[3]

Teaching leavens societies just as bread leavens a lump of dough. Regardless of the source of the teaching, the kingdom of heavens or the teachings of man, everyone will be affected. Hypocrisy filled the teachings of the religious leaders.[4] They taught people rituals and practices crafted in human minds thinking these things proved their love for God. Yet when God walked among them, they hated him and wanted him dead.

The Apostle Paul, who had been a leading Pharisee proud of his devotion to God, learned he had loved religious practice but never loved God. He later called himself the chief of sinners because he was a hypocrite.[5] When he later addressed the acceptance of sexual immorality in the Corinthian church he warned them that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. Their teaching that had created an acceptance of sin in the church did not reflect a love for God and would eventually destroy all of them.

Paul reminded the Gentiles in the Corinthian church that they also have a Passover lamb in Jesus. Jesus did not need to be slain annually. His one sacrifice accomplished what the blood of an animal could not. Therefore the Gentiles must stop eating bread leavened with malice and wickedness and eat the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Let go of teachings that fill us with malice and wickedness. Embrace teachings that fill us with sincerity and truth.

Christians would do well to stop once a year and exam the teachings they have embraced. Is our service toward God a heavy burden of dos and don’ts that make us arrogant? Do we truly love God? Would God walk among us and we would not recognize him just like the leaders of Jesus day? Worse, would we recognize God among us and hate him because the things we teach are lies?

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All Scripture is from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Matthew 16:6, Mark 8:15

[4] Luke 12:1

[5] 1 Timothy 1:15

About Teena Myers

Teena is the Vice Chairman of the Southern Christian Writers Guild, author of three books and a freelance writer.
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