Thursday, March 19, 2009

Festival of Unleavened Bread

Exodus 12:14-17 gives us background information about the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The feast lasts 7 days, during which no one is to eat bread made with yeast. In the Bible leaven or yeast is a symbol for sin. The Israelites were to be a people set apart from sin. This was symbolically seen during this celebration. The festival also gavem them a remembrance of their freedom from slavery in Egypt.

Digging a little deeper I found some more insights. Before Passover (the day before the festival begins) the wife cleaned the home thoroughly, removing all leaven. However, she purposefully left 10 small pieces of bread containing yeast behind as part of a teaching tradition. The father of the family would take a candle, wooden sppon, feather, and piece of linen cloth and go with the children throughout the house looking for any missed leaven. At nightfall on the day before Passover a final search was made using just candles. When the Father found the last piece of bread, he would put the candle down and lay the wooden spoon next to the bread. Using the feather, the father would sweep the bread on to the spoon. Without touching the bread, the father would wrap the spoon in a linen cloth and cast the bundle out of the house. The next morning the father would burn the linen and its contents in a fire.

This tradition speaks of how God removes sin from our lives. Scripture (the candle) is one of the elements that reveals sin in our life. When sin is found the Holy Spirit (feather) is an instrument in bringing sin to death. The spoon (cross) bears the sin away. The linen (burial wrapping) covers death. The sin is condemned and punished (fire).

How grateful I am that God has provided the way to remove sin and its power from my life! I am no longer a slave to sin! Thanks be to God I am free indeed!

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