Becoming Unleavened Bread

Becoming Unleavened Bread

Home Church Service 4/16/2022

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

When our small group meets for worship, we like to discuss what we are learning, in the moment. Sometimes that happens right after the message and at other times we will address something during the message. These messages are designed to be interactive, discussing what we are learning right after I have addressed each point of the message. You will find the questions at the end of each section. In most formats they will appear in bold. Use these questions as a guide to meditate on the points being discussed. Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and above all, be honest with yourself and the Holy Spirit. After all, He knows any way!

“You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.”

                                                                                    Exodus 12:17 (NASB95)

“Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

                                                                       1 Corinthians 5:7–8 (NASB95)

God has established seven feasts or festivals, four in the spring and three in the fall, to lay out His plan of salvation. The four feasts in the spring have found their fulfillment in Christ, while we eagerly anticipate the fulfillment of the final three feasts at the return of Christ. Last week we looked at the first feast, the Passover, and how it finds its fulfillment in Christ as Our Passover Sacrifice.

Today we look at the second of the spring feasts, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and how it finds its fulfillment in Christ. With the sacrifice of Christ, made on the cross, by the breaking of His body and the shedding of His blood, we as Christ followers, find that sin has been removed from our lives allowing us to enter a new life – a life of Becoming Unleavened Bread.

Paul reminds the church in Corinth they are Becoming Unleavened Bread and must remove the leaven from among them. They are no longer the leaven of malice and wickedness but the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  

As Christ followers, we are Becoming Unleavened Bread because Christ has died on the cross to remove our sin. We no longer live our former life of evil and evil things but now we live in the new self of purity and things that are pure and true.

In this message we seek to answer the question, “What does Becoming Unleavened Bread mean for the Christ follower?”

Becoming Unleavened Bread means we have accepted the sacrifice of Christ and died to our former way of life.

1). Becoming Unleavened Bread means that Christ died to remove our sin.

We are no longer in bondage to sin, death and the grave.

What exactly is leaven? Leaven is a substance that is used to begin the process of fermentation. This could be yeast, baking powder or baking soda. This is what causes the bread to rise. It is a process that requires time to complete. So, when we talk about leaven bread, it is bread that is in a high state of fermentation. Unleavened bread then, is bread that does not have the substance to cause fermentation. This is bread that is flat or resembles a cracker.

Unleavened bread is used when there is not time for bread to rise, there is short notice and bread must be made quickly. The ingredients are the same with the exception of the leavening agent. The Hebrew word for unleavened bread, is a word you have likely heard before, that word is matzah, as in matzah bread or matzah balls. This bread is commonly referred to as bread cakes.

Throughout the New Testament, leaven is used as a symbol of sin. It symbolizes being bred in corruption and spreading through the mass of that with which it is mixed; it is the pervasive character of evil.  To be unleavened then, is to be of a holy or set apart, spiritual condition, often seen as sincerity and truth. God established the Feast of Unleavened Bread after the Passover in Egypt. This feast lasts for seven days and all of Israel is to eat unleavened bread, modern day Israel celebrates this feast still today.

For Orthodox Jews, those who do not accept the New Testament or Jesus as Messiah, the Feast is to be a reminder of the day God freed them from bondage in Egypt. The bread is to remind them of the oppression and hardship experienced in Egypt. Those Jews who have accepted the New Testament and Jesus as Messiah celebrate the Feast, though with a view of what Christ has done for us, as foreshadowed in the original celebration of the Feast.

The removal of leaven is to symbolize the removal of sin from a person’s life. This is not something we are able to do on our own – we require an unblemished sacrifice, One who is perfect, without fault or flaw. This, of course, was Jesus Christ, our Passover sacrifice, who took away our sin as the Lamb of God. In Romans 6:10, Paul reminds us that Christ has “died to sin once for all” that sin may no more have mastery over us! Oh yes! We still yield to its temptations, but we cannot be put back into slavery to sin, unless we willingly go!

In his first letter, John reminds us we are to walk in the Light as Jesus is in the Light, that we have fellowship with one another, and more importantly, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all sin. Notice the progression here, we walk in the Light. Light has a way of keeping us pure and turning away the temptation. It is only when we begin to touch the fringes of darkness that we are in danger of being sucked back into our old ways of darkness.

Then we have fellowship with one another, indicating the importance of being in fellowship with fellow Christ followers. That is not to say we should not mingle with those who do not believe, because we should, how else will they hear the good news or see the love of Christ? No, this is simply a reminder we must have fellowship with other Christ followers for encouragement, prayer, sharpening and for accountability. Above all this, the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. These practices keep us white, free from sin, able to stand against temptation, prepared for the daily battles we face in life and the spiritual realm.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

What steps are you taking to remove or keep leaven (sin) from your life?

How do you “walk in the Light” of Christ Jesus?

Becoming Unleavened Bread means we have accepted the sacrifice of Christ and died to our former way of life.

2). Becoming Unleavened Bread means we have embraced our new life in Christ.

The old self held captive by sin has died to be replaced by the new self and freedom in Christ.

At one point in their history, the Hebrew people only knew oppression and hardship. For 400 years the Hebrew people we enslaved in Egypt, forced into hard labor under taskmasters who cared only about meeting or exceeding the expectations laid down by Pharoah. The Hebrew people cried out to God who hears their cry and raises up a deliverer – Moses. It wasn’t easy – it took ten plagues before Pharoah let the Hebrews go, and let them go he did, and life would be forever changed for the Hebrew people.

It is during the tenth plague when the Passover is established, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is first observed. During the night Pharoah is awoken because a great cry can be heard throughout Egypt – every household in Egypt, not covered by the blood of the lamb, has suffered the death of a loved one – the first born of each family. Pharoah called for Moses and Aaron, told them to take their people, their cattle, their flocks and herds – and leave! Leaving Egypt is more than just moving to a new home or hometown! Israel is leaving behind a way of life and beginning a journey into a new life!

We too embark on a new life. Israel walked out of a land of darkness to a land flowing with milk and honey. We have come out of darkness filled with every kind of evil into the Light that dispels evil and chaos. The chains of slavery in Egypt have been broken for Israel; the chains of slavery to sin have been broken for the Christ follower. No longer would Israel be subjected to slavery, as long as they followed the Lord their God. We may stumble and fall to temptation, but we no longer need to be subject to sin, as long as we remain faithful to Christ Jesus.

Israel packed up and left Egypt in a hurry! In fact, they packed up and left so fast, the dough in their bowls had not risen yet (Ex. 12:34), so Israel packed and left Egypt with unleavened bread. However, Moses instructed the people to request articles of gold and articles of silver and clothing, plundering Egypt and entering a new life with the riches of God, for it was God who acted to give Israel favor in the sight of the Egyptian people.

With leaven, or sin, removed from our lives, we are now a new creation in Christ. Paul tells us the old has gone and the new has come. What has gone and what has come? Gone is the old self full of anger, bitterness, lying, abusive language, selfishness and self-centeredness, to be replaced with those things that are pure, lovely, filled with excellence, honorable and right.

In coming out of our former lifestyle and leaving sin behind, we enter a new life filled with the riches of God in Christ Jesus. We have every spiritual blessing available in Christ. We have the power that raised Jesus from the dead available. We have the glories of His riches found in Christ Jesus. In Christ we have been freed from sin, no longer held captive, but free to become slaves to righteousness in Christ. We are free to live a life of gratitude and thanksgiving. We are free to live a life without fear. We are free to live a life without worry, or anxiety. We are free to live a life of abundance in Christ our Lord. In this way, we plunder the kingdom of darkness and spread the glorious Light of Christ Jesus.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How are you living a life of freedom in Christ?

How are you plundering the kingdom of darkness?

Becoming Unleavened Bread means we have accepted the sacrifice of Christ and died to our former way of life.

For the Christ follower, the Feast of Unleavened Bread finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. The removal of sin, by His shed blood, allows us to stand before God the Father, fully justified in Christ and in His righteousness, granting us full access to the Father. It is the fulfillment of this Feast that we have the power to stand against the schemes of Satan. It is through the fulfillment of the Feast that we find a new life – called from darkness into the wonderful life and light of Christ. It is through the fulfillment of the Feast that we have access to the glorious riches found in Christ Jesus.

God’s plan of salvation is seen throughout the feasts and festivals established by the Father. It is in the feasts and festivals that God continues to reveal how deep His love goes for those who bear His image. As we study and embrace these feasts and festivals, I pray that you are drawn closer to Christ Jesus, that you sense the deep love the Father has for you and you find the new life we have been given in Christ, filled with all His glorious riches.

It is through the sacrifice of Christ that sin has been removed and we are now walking in the Light. This new life we now live, a life of Becoming Unleavened Bread, is a marathon journey. At times we find that sin, namely pride, has crept back into our lives. Pride acts as the agent of fermentation – being puffed up and full of self once again. It only takes a moment for life to kick us in the gut and knock the stuffing out of us – allowing humility to gain control once again.

If we are to be filled or puffed up with anything, Paul tells us it should be the leaven of sincerity and truth, that is, things that are pure and things that are right. These are the things the Holy Spirit has been sent to lead us into – the truth spoken by and about Christ Jesus. He leads us into the attributes and characteristics of Christ, leading us into Christlikeness. The Holy Spirit spurs us on by reminding us of the commandments and all that Jesus said and taught – causing us to grow into maturity. If we are, indeed, Becoming Unleavened Bread, it is through the sacrifice of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We do all things to the glory of God, through Christ our Lord,

Amen and amen.

Next Week: The Feast of First Fruits Leviticus 23:9-11 & 1 Corinthians 15:16-21

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