Servants' News

Jan/Feb 2000


Have We Been Missing the Point of Unleavened Bread?

by Mike Hurst, England


In the past, the emphasis of the Feast of Unleavened Bread has been placed on de-leavening homes and putting sin out of our lives. But is that where God puts the emphasis?

Unleavened bread is mentioned for the first time in Ex 12:8—part of the “Passover” instructions:

And they shall eat the flesh in that night roast with fire and unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.... Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses for whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel (Ex 12:8, 15).

In the first month on the 14th day of the month at even you shall eat unleavened bread until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses for whosoever eats that which is leavened even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger or born in the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall you eat unleavened bread (Ex 12:18-20).

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall be no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in al your quarters (Ex 13:6-7).

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread (Lev 23:6).

Some years ago, the Worldwide Church of God began to say that you don’t have to eat unleavened bread e very day during that seven day period. Now, I believe they say its no longer required but you can do it if you want.

Yet God clearly says, as we have just seen from his word you shall eat unleavened bread and in the case of Lev 23:6 you must eat it.

God’s Holy Days show God’s plan—that God is expanding his family, that we are his children, and that we shall be like Him (1Jn 3:2).

Let’s ask a question, which of the holy days show the process by which God is doing this, under the new covenant and therefore more applicable to us today than we may have realized?

For finding fault with them he said, behold the days come says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.... For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws into their mind and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people (Heb 8:8,10).

God has clearly placed his emphasis on the eating of unleavened bread, not deleavening. Many Jews regard unleavened bread as the bread of affliction. To Christians, it is Christ’s body, a type of the bread of life.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life....” (John 6:35).

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.... Then said Jesus unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, except you eat of the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood you have no life in you.... He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father; so he who eats me even he shall live by me. (John 6:51,53,56-57).

It is my belief that the seven Days of Unleavened Bread picture the complete process of becoming spiritually “de-leavened”. It is a physical exercise which depicts a spiritual process, which must go on for the rest of our lives once we have accepted Christ as our Savior and Passover.

When Christ died, his blood was shed for all. It meant the penalty for sin was paid, i.e. death.

But that of itself does not change us. What changes us, is the process of allowing Christ to live in us. He is the true unleavened bread from heaven. These seven days of unleavened bread picture that process. Eventually, when we are changed to be immortal, we will be totally unleavened as Christ is.

People who say we do not need to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread, are missing these vital lessons important to salvation. Those who place the emphasis on deleavening instead of on the eating of unelearned bread are focusing on “what people do”, not on “what Christ does”.

Once the emphasis is correct on the physical aspect of eating unleavened bread, we find our whole attitude will change towards these days. Not only will we be balanced about deleavening, but we will enjoy eating unleavened bread because of its spiritual implications which are a must for every Christian.

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