Removing leavening from our lives for a week out of the year may seem strange in our modern world, but so is living by any of the Scriptures in our Post-modern, nihilistic society. Here is what it all means.
Which of the following observance(s) are commanded in Yahweh’s Word?
d. Neither Easter nor Christmas is commanded in Yahweh’s Word. Easter is a counterfeit of the Passover, with its focus on Yahshua’s resurrection. The rites and rituals of Christmas clearly reveal its roots in the Roman Saturnalia, which honors the sun god. We are never instructed to remember His resurrection or His birth, only His death. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the other hand, is commanded in Exodus 12:14-34, Leviticus 23:6-14, Numbers 28:17-25, and Deuteronomy 16:3-8. In the New Testament Paul tells us, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Messiah 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,” 1Corinthians 5:7-8. Neither Paul nor any other apostle or disciple observed any holidays but what are commanded in the Scriptures—like this Feast.
One specific reason Yahweh took the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery was to allow them to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
a. Exodus 5:1 says, “And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharoah, Thus said Yahweh Elohim of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” That Feast was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which directly follows the Passover, on the 15th of the month of Abib, Leviticus 23:5-6. Israel kept the Passover in Egypt as the death angel “passed over” them, and then they left on the Feast of Unleavened Bread to go into the wilderness and sacrifice three days later, Exodus 5:3. 3
This Feast was first commanded for Israel at Mt. Sinai, along with the Ten Commandments.
b. Some think that as part of the “law of Moses,” the Feasts were abolished when the Law was done away. Aside from the simple fact that the Law was never abolished (Matt. 5:17; Rom. 7:1), we find evidence that the Feasts were observed before Sinai, even back to creation itself. The 12th chapter of Exodus takes place before the law was given on Sinai. In verses 18-19 we find Yahweh reviewing this Feast for Moses. We learn that Cain displeased Yahweh because of his offering, which was of produce. Abel, on the other hand, brought the firstlings of his flock, Genesis 4:3-4. Why would Yahweh be angry unless as evident by his offering Cain was keeping the wrong Feast! An offering of produce is suitable for a Feast like Tabernacles or Feast of Weeks, not for Passover and Unleavened Bread.
What occurred on the first and last day of the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread?
a. Numbers 33:3 tells us that Israel left Egypt on the 15th, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Deuteronomy 16:1 tells us they left at night. The first day of the Feast is not the Passover, because on Passover they were commanded to remain in their homes until morning while the death angel “passed over” at midnight (Ex. 11:4-5; 12:2223). By their progress through the wilderness, we can determine that Israel had passed through the Red Sea and was on the other side by the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Free of Egypt at last, they sang songs of praise and thanksgiving, Exodus 15:1-18, 20-21.
What is to be done specifically during this Feast?
c. Abstaining from leavening for these seven days represents putting out those things that lead to sin. Eating what is unleavened shows that we willingly obey Yahweh and submit to His will. Incidentally, foods that don’t contain leavening are acceptable to eat during this Feast.
Both Yahshua and Paul kept this Feast.
a. In Luke 2:42 we read that when Yahshua was twelve He went to Jerusalem to keep the Feast with His parents. In Mark 14:12-18 we find Yahshua keeping the Passover with His disciples before He died. The Passover preceded the Feast and was kept along with the entire, week-long observance. See Mark 14:1-2. As we have seen, Paul in 1Corinthians 5:8 specifically tells us to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests were afraid to take Yahshua on the Feast day (first day of Unleavened Bread) lest the people would revolt for profaning a holy day. The Jewish masses were keeping this Feast and Yahshua was an observant Jew.
In the Scriptures, leavening represents
b. Leavening represents the following: false doctrine (Matt. 16:12); hypocrisy and formalism (Luke 12:1); malice and wickedness (1Cor. 5:8), and political religion and worldiness (Mark 8:15). Unleavening is the opposite of each of these.
Leavening agents to avoid at this Feast are:
d. In the baking process these substances cause the dough to leaven or puff up through chemical action. Like breads and rolls, wine and beer also have been leavened through the action of yeast and therefore are to be removed and avoided during the seven days of the Feast.
Which days have been set apart for special Holy Day meetings on this Feast of Unleavened Bread?
d. See Leviticus 23:7-8. These are High Days.
Yahweh revealed that through the annual Feasts we will know Him as the true Mighty One of the universe.
a. In Ezekiel 20:10-12 Yahweh says of His people, “Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh that sanctify them.” The Feasts are Yahweh’s and they are for all time. Yahweh says “forever.” Two key verses here are Leviticus 23:2 and Exodus 12:14. Key to knowing Yahweh is following His laws (Ezek. 20:19-20)
Yahweh promised that His people would prosper if they kept His Sabbaths and Feasts.
a. Yahweh promised in Deuteronomy 28 that if His people would listen to Him and obey His commandments, that He would set them above all nations of the earth, verse 1. Then He lists all the blessings they would have. Does Yahweh change? Not according to Malachi 3:6: “For I am Yahweh. I change not…” The opposite is also true. When we refuse to listen to Him we will pay the consequences. Deuteronomy 28:15-68. No wonder so many people are suffering in their personal lives because they will not live by the Scriptures.
The Feasts, including Unleavened Bread, are
a. Isaiah 66:23 tells us that from month to month and Sabbath to Sabbath all people will come to worship in the Kingdom. See also Zechariah 14; Ezekiel 45:20; and 46:3.