Removing the leaven from our lives
Our family gathered last night, in honor of Passover! What a beautiful time to tell stories of deliverance and redemption. We started with the Biblical accounts but also shared our personal redemption story. It’s vital that I continue to tell my kids how Jesus transformed my own life 20 years ago and I welcome the intentional opportunities that are built into scripture.
Today marks the beginning of The Feast of Unleavened Bread!
“Then Moses said to the people, ‘remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten…Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a beast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory.” Exodus 13:3 – 7 (ESV)
Consider what the unleavened bread represents:
Don’t think of the bread making that we typically do (by adding the Active Dry Yeast) but consider an older tradition (think sourdough bread).
The tradition started to take out a lump of dough made each day and keep it until the next day, and add to the next batch. Sourdough breads today are still made this way by adding a “starter” dough from an earlier batch. The lump of old dough would become sour and inedible overnight, and if left longer it would become rancid and rotten, but it would be mixed into the new lump of dough to cause it to rise.
Once we see this picture of ancient bread-making, it becomes much more obvious why leavened dough (hametz in Hebrew) became an image of a life contaminated by sin. The decay that would lead to “death” or rottenness was added to each batch.
Interestingly, we find a motif that seems like original sin: the infection was started in the first lump of dough that was leavened long time ago, like Adam committing the first sin. Each lump of dough after that received its “decay” from the dough made the day before, like sin being transmitted from generation to generation.
Israel left the leaven in Egypt, and we must do the same
During this time we are taking a serious inventory of the leaven of sin in our own hearts. Just like David we are saying, “search me God and see if there be any way in me that offends you…”
Jesus is the “Unleavened” Bread of Life for those who have chosen to accept Him as their Savior. When we intentionally remove the leaven of sin from our lives we activate the leaven of the Kingdom. Just imagine making more room for the Kingdom of God and all of its power to grow in your life! In order for this to happen the sin needs to be left behind.
“He told them another parable. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of our, till it was all leavened.” Matthew 13:33
What my house is doing this year
We are being very intentional about the Feast of Unleavened Bread this year. I say this year because in the years passed I somehow missed the grand significance of this…I don’t know maybe the easter bunny has overshadowed God’s Holy commands during this special time? Tim and I are endeavoring to learn or re-learn what it means to live in God’s rhythm, and honoring the times and seasons that He has clearly laid out in scripture.
We are removing the physical leaven from our home during the next seven days. This is a sign, a reminder that more importantly we are searching our hearts for any sin that has crept in. I have a jar on my kitchen counter with a stack of small squares of paper. When someone identifies leaven in their life, they are to write it down; fold it up; and put it in the jar. Next week, we will have a fire out back and burn every piece of paper, symbolizing our personal decision to turn our hearts fully toward God.
I am only sharing this because I know there are some moms and dads out there who are looking for some direction…I know there are individuals out there who are far from God and trying to figure out how to find their way back…I know there are hungry people out there who desperately want the leaven of the Kingdom to grow stronger in their midst. You don’t have to do what we are doing but if it stirs your heart to become intentional, then I rejoice. Start with a simple prayer:
“God search me, is there anything in my life that offends you? Are there things that I am hanging onto that are creating a divide between us? Help me take the first step in leaving these things behind.”
In tomorrow’s post I will stick on the topic of bread for a little while longer. I want to tie in the Table of Showbread and some encouragement on: clearing out the old and making room for the new