“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. And you shall 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 statute forever. In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.” Exodus 12:14-20 ESV
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I Corinthians 5:6-8 ESV
Have you ever made homemade bread, or watched your mom or dad do that? Many breads are made with yeast, which is actually a type of fungus. It only takes a little bit of yeast in the bread dough to make it rise. The warm, dark, sweet bread dough gives it just the right conditions to grow. It reproduces itself by budding; one yeast cell produces a bud which grows, and then the bud produces another bud, and so on. The buds make the whole lump of bread dough rise and swell and get bigger and bigger. Yeast makes bread soft and gives it a wonderful smell and flavor.
Yeast in bread is a good thing, but it can also be a picture of a bad thing. The Bible uses yeast as a picture of sin. Sin, disobeying God’s word or not following his law, might seem like a very little thing. But one little sin can grow and grow in a person, or a family, or a church, and cause all kinds of sorrow and trouble. When God gave the Passover to his people Israel, he told them not to eat anything with yeast or any other leavening in it. They weren’t even supposed to have any leaven in their homes. Even today, Jewish people who observe the Passover will clean all the leavening out of their houses. This is a picture of getting rid of the sin in their lives and homes.
God tells us to get rid of the evil and sin in our lives and churches, and he uses the picture of yeast. But we can’t get rid of our sins by ourselves. No matter how hard we try, the sin in our lives will continue to grow and grow. That’s why God sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. Yeast is a picture of sin, but the Passover lamb is a picture of Jesus who took all our sins away when he died for us. Jesus is the one who cleans all the yeast of sin from our lives.
Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross and taking my sins away. Amen.