The Feast Of Unleavened Bread
"And ye shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month [see Bible Months], on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye 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 eateth 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. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread." (Exodus 12:17-20 KJV)
Why Unleavened Bread?
The Passover marks the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread. What was the purpose of the seven-day observance?
- "And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand The Lord brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten." (Exodus 13:3 KJV)
- "Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which The Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that The Lord's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath The Lord brought thee out of Egypt. Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year." (Exodus 13:7-10 KJV)
- "Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction: for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning." (Deuteronomy 16:3-4 KJV)
What relevance do the Days of Unleavened Bread have to Christians? As stated in the above verses, the Feast of Unleavened bread memorialized Israel's deliverance from a life of slavery under Pharaoh after the slaying of the Passover lamb, but it also now represents the Christian (see Physical and Spiritual Israel and Daughter of Zion) deliverance from a life of sin under Satan after the slaying of Jesus Christ, the "Lamb of God."
- "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." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 KJV)
There was, and is, nothing wrong with eating things containing yeast at other times, but for the purpose of the Days of Unleavened Bread it was used as an symbol of sin. It was also sometimes used as a metaphor for sinful pride and hypocrisy:
- "How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:11-12 KJV)
God does nothing in vain. All of the Old Testament observances have Christian applications - that was their entire purpose, to preview what was to come in due time.
The Dual Meaning Of The God-Commanded Biblical Holy Days
The spring (from Jerusalem's perspective, in the northern hemisphere) Holy Days symbolize the events related to the First Coming of Jesus Christ:
- Passover - The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay for the sins of all humanity. (Exodus 12:13, John 1:29) (see Passover and The Lamb Of God)
- The Days of Unleavened Bread - the removal of sin from the lives of
converted, repentant people. (Exodus 12:15, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
- Pentecost - the "first fruits" harvest, the coming of God's Holy Spirit upon
conversion. (Leviticus 23:16-17, Acts 2:1-4) (see Pentecost and Seasons Of The Harvest)
The autumn (from Jerusalem's perspective, in the northern hemisphere) Holy Days symbolize the events related to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
- The Feast of Trumpets - The Return of Jesus Christ. (Leviticus 23:23-25,
Matthew 24:30-31) (see The Feast Of Trumpets and The Return Of Jesus Christ)
- The Day of Atonement - the judgment and sentencing of Satan after his removal as "the god of this world." (Leviticus 23:26-32, Revelation 20:10) (see The Day Of Atonement and Who Still Rules The World Today?)
- The Feast of Tabernacles - the first 1,000 years after The Return of Christ. (Leviticus 23:33-36,
Revelation 20:2-4) (see Tabernacles and Ingathering and Scenes From The Millennium)
- The Eighth, or Last, Day - The "Great Day" Of Tabernacles picturing the
later physical resurrection of the vast majority of humanity who were not resurrected to spirit at the Return of Jesus Christ. (Leviticus 23:39, Revelation
20:5,11-15) (see "Your Brother Was Dead, And Is Alive", What Happens When You Die? and When Will You Be Judged?)
Fact Finder: Did the early Christian church continue to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread?
Acts 20:6 and 1 Corinthians 5:7-8