Unleavened Bread

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Unleavened Bread (Le 23)

6  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
7  In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
8  But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

The Passover meal begins a 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread that evidently symbolizes sanctification; as part of being delivered from the penalty of sin by the substitution of our atoning Lamb believers are to purpose to live in holiness, to free themselves from sin’s shackles by abstaining from all manner of rebellion and disobedience to God’s Law. This is an intentional process of constant awareness and deliberate purposefulness, which is acted out in the feast by cleansing their personal environment of all leaven and leavened bread (Ex_13:7) prior to the 15th day, and purposing to keep leaven entirely out of their experience for the duration of the ensuing 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.

This feast is evidently fulfilled in believers in the New Covenant in which God writes Torah into the minds and hearts of His children so that they purpose to love and follow Him in obedience to His ways. (He 8:8-11)

It is evident that this feast involves two assemblies, one at the beginning and one at the end. This second one is to be a solemn occasion: “Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.” (De 16:8)

Deuteronomy provides additional emphasis on this particular feast, that it is one of three annual feasts where all the men of the community are to gather together before God and offer something to Him, a personal token acknowledging God’s favor and blessing upon them and their families: “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.” (De 16:16-17)

The Freewill Offering

The special offering required during each of the three major festival seasons is evidently a freewill offering, an animal sacrifice offered voluntarily, not required to fulfill any other ceremonial obligation. While each of the other types of sacrifices required a specific kind of male animal without blemish (De 17:1, Lev 22:20-22: each evidently symbolic in various ways of Yeshua Messiah being our perfect substitute), a freewill offering was [1] allowed to have a blemish (Le 22:23), and [2] of a kind decided by the giver himself rather than being specified by God. This suggests the freewill offering is symbolic of voluntarily giving our own selves to God in some way. Perhaps it is from this concept that Paul begs the brothers, “by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Ro 12:2) God is pleased when we, especially men, purpose to live for Him thankfully and voluntarily. Clearly, He is pleased for women to do so as well, but as leaders in the family and culture, God is evidently more concerned that men are calling themselves together before Him and giving themselves to God together on a regular basis. Evidently, this is strategically fundamental to the health and benefit of the family and society, and ultimately a deep blessing to women and children as well.

Additionally, Paul mentions the purging of leaven as symbolic of putting away sin: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1Co 5:7-8)

By these texts we find in this feast that God is calling His people, particularly men, to separate ourselves from our regular routine into a special place of His choosing in order to do three things:
[1] feast for a week with no leaven, symbolizing the pursuit of holiness,
[2] assemble together on the first and seventh days, ending solemnly,
[3] voluntarily offer our lives to God, especially men, putting ourselves at His disposal to do with as He will.

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