Unleavened, All The Time
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. … 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. … 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's passover. … 14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
I’ve been reading some materials that deal with the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In revisiting this Feast, I’ve decided to go out on a limb here and talk about it. I’m Boldly Going Where … I Probably Shouldn’t Be Going.
Here I go …
Does the Feast of Unleavened Bread ever sort of sneak up on you? It does for me. This is what typically happens when I finally realize -- IT'S HERE. "I forgot, AGAIN? Leaven! (panic sets in) Oh (*&#@+)' we just bought a bunch of …. I'll do better next year."
In relation to the Feast, the topic of leaven brings along with it a whole series of discussions, questions and concerns. Such as …
What is leaven?
What is it’s meaning in reference to the Feast?
What can we eat?
What can we drink?
Can you put your leaven out in the shed in the back yard?
Can you feed it to your chickens?
Can you give your leaven to a good Christian friend or family member until the Feast is over?
Can you sell it?
What if in the middle of the Feast you find something in the house with leaven it it? (The chickens ...?)
If you eat something leavened by mistake, will you go directly to Hell and not collect $200.00?
Feel free to add your questions and concerns to this list. You might have a few more.
On this particular night in Egypt, not only were the people to eat in haste, they were to have their loins girded, shoes on and staff in hand. In other words, they were to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. They were to live in a state of, what I’m calling, detached reality from their surrounding world.
Think of it. In one moment, they were to go from everything they had known into the complete unknown. There was to be a clean break. Perhaps that’s why some eventually struggled with their new reality. They wanted to go back to what they had known and were comfortable with.
So I want to ask: What is the purpose, point of the Feast? What should be our focus? And, why no leaven in the first place??
There are many thoughts and theories about what is or isn’t leavened. And because of that, our focus gets misdirected and muddled. We focus, I think, too much on the wrong thing. Instead of being so concerned with “What” is leaven, perhaps we should be more concerned with “Why” no leaven.
Let’s imagine you’re a fly on the wall that night in somebody’s home. What would you be thinking? How would you be seeing it all? What does this story, being acted out right in front of you, mean? What’s the application to be made after the sermon? There is a point here we’re not to miss. What is it?
Let me suggest (as the fly on the wall) a string of things that represent what I see in my mind by way of application.
— We’re not to be attached to this world and our things. We’re to be ready for anything God would ask or desire of us on a moment’s notice. We’re to be free from the entanglements of this world. We’re to allow nothing of this world to have such a hold on us that it pulls us back to the personal “Egypts” we’ve been delivered from. —
As that fly on the wall, my focus isn’t so much on the leaven. It’s not the significant point of the story. It’s a by product. Yes, granted, it is an important component. However, perhaps it’s not the be-all and end-all that we’ve turned it into.
Are we to be concerned about getting leaven out of our homes during the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Yes, absolutely. But just the leaven in our homes? What about the leaven in our lives?
Shouldn’t we strive to be unleavened in our lives all the time as well? “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us.”
(I Corinthians 5:7)
Just like the people in the original Exodus, we’re to live in a realm of detached reality from this world. Nothing is to have a hold on us. No leaven is to be found in “our earthly house of this tabernacle.” (II Corinthians 5:2)
Christianity makes much of the personal application of leaven in the life with little to no emphasis on the Feast. But maybe Messianics go too far to the other extreme. We focus on the leaven in our home during the Feast with little to no emphasis on the leaven in our lives.
The next time the Feast of Unleavened Bread comes around, let’s be sure we have the leaven out of “our earthly house of this tabernacle” (II Corinthians 5:1) as well as our home. If the “lump” of our life is leavened, it really won’t matter how much leaven we get out of our home, will it?
Let’s strive to be Unleavened, All The Time.