What exactly was the Feast of Unleavened Bread designed to teach?
Today’s Reading: Exodus 12:14-13:16 (additional reading Psalm 25:16-22 and Proverbs 6:12-15)
Key Verse: “For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel.” Exodus 12:19
What exactly was the Feast of Unleavened Bread designed to teach? In yesterday’s devotion, we discovered that the Passover symbolised the freedom God wants to give His people through Jesus. The six days that follow the Passover feast teach that God’s requires His people to REMOVE things from their lives and their homes to enjoy His freedom.
During The Feast of Unleavened Bread – God’s people were instructed NOT ONLY to avoid eating leavened bread, but to remove ANYTHING that had ANY yeast in it from their homes. Anyone who ate anything that contained yeast during that week was to be cut off from their people (shunned/ ostracised). Yeast was used by God to symbolise the power of sin.
When Jesus warned his disciples in Luke 12:1 against becoming like the Pharisees, He told them “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Likewise, when the Church at Corinth had a man in their congregation who was engaged in sexual immorality, Paul wrote that they should not associate with the man until he repented… they were not even to eat with the man. He said,: “Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?” (1 Corinthians 5:6). So we can see yeast was used by God to portray sin in our lives.
Essentially, yeast makes bread rise. It makes something look bigger then what it really is by filling it with air. Similarly, sin makes us believe that we’ve gained MORE of something in our lives, when in reality all we’ve achieved is more decay and rot because yeast causes bread to mould and decay from the inside out.
The Hebrews after experiencing the Passover were to make sure that there was no yeast in their homes. As believers who have experienced the greater Passover we must also make sure that we keep sin out of our lives. We must determine that ANYTHING which would hurt our faith shouldn’t be allowed in the front door, or the back door, or thru an open window. I wonder how many things we would have to hide in our homes if Jesus would come to visit?
In Jewish society, to prepare for the Passover, once a year the family spends an entire week scouring the house for any and every small crumb of yeast they can find. In other words, they weren’t just getting rid of the yeast that happened to be laying on the floor. They had to look in every nook and cranny – every hidden corner of their home – to find the leaven and remove it. Let us learn from this lesson and often search our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for it determines the course of your life’.
- What things do you need to remove in your life?
- Can you think of a small sin that has grown like yeast?
- Are there things you need to remove from your home to protect you and your family?
Father, Thank You for the freedom you give us to enjoy. Help us to see the areas of our lives we need to change and the things we need to remove to better live for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen