UNLEAVENED BREAD, 08.04.19

References:

The Experiencing God Study Bible, NKJV, Dr. Henry Blackaby, Broadman & Holman, 1994.

NIV Bible Commentary, Vol.2, N.T., p.623, Barker & Kohlenberger, Zondervan, 1994.

“Beginning of Months & Appointed Times,” Message From the Bema, by Rabbi Cal Goldberg, Mar.17, 2018; Beth Shechinah, http://www.bethshechinah.com/learn/sermons/ ; http://www.bethshechinah.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-03-17_The_beginning_of_months_and-Gods_Appointed_Times_Rabb_Calev_Goldberg2.mp3

 

Exodus 12:

14 “This day is to be a memorial for you. You are to keep it as a feast to Adonai. Throughout your generations you are to keep it as an eternal ordinance.

15 For seven days you are to eat matzot/unleavened bread, but on the first day you must remove hametz/yeast from your houses, for whoever eats hametz from the first day until the seventh day, that soul will be cut off from Israel.

16 The first day is to be a holy assembly for you as well as the seventh day. No manner of work is to be done on those days, except what is to be eaten by every person—that alone may be prepared by you.

17 So you are to observe the Feast of Matzot, for on this very same day have I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you are to observe this day throughout your generations as an eternal ordinance.

During Passover Yahweh instructed the Israelites, not only to make their bread without yeast, but to get all the leaven out of the household. Why unleavened bread? What is the significance; and what meaning does it have for today? Surely, since we are free from the law today, we needn’t concern ourselves with such matters?  Let’s look a little closers at the tie-in, and integrate the meaning for today.

“You are not to eat hametz with it. For seven days you are to eat matzot with it, the bread of affliction—for you came out from the land of Egypt in haste. Do this so that all the days of your life you will remember the day when you came out from the land of Egypt” (Deut.16:3). Ooh. . . . but that was Old Testament, you say. . .. .. .  Well, I wonder why the apostles honoured it in what is referred to as New Testament times. . . .  Hmmm.. .

We are going to do an up-close-and-uncomfortable study of 1 Cor. 5:6-8 to demonstrate, verify, and answer those questions. We will look at some of the different versions and interpretations, just so we can be assured of what this means for today’s believers.

“Don’t you know that a little hametz leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old hametz, so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened—for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast not with old hametz, the hametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread—the matzah of sincerity and truth” (TLV).

A little “sin” infects and infests everything. It is not helpful to isolate/discount minor sins by pouring God’s Grace over them, and failing to apply God’s Word to them. That is what is known as “cheap grace.”

“The commandment to get rid of the leaven in the home, symbolizes getting rid of the sin in your life,” teaches Rabbi Cal Goldberg (Message From the Bema, Mar.17, 2018, “Beginning of Months & Appointed Times,” Beth Shechinah). “It reminds us that we are to be a holy people.” And he points out that “it’s all about the issue of the heart.” Getting rid of the sin in our lives requires surrender, which by default necessitates putting fleshly self to death, bringing thoughts into captivity . …  all Scriptural applications for dealing with the sin in our lives.

Purging of the leaven = purging of sin. In Exodus, they purged their homes of leaven. Today we need to purge ourselves (death of self) of our fleshly evil desires, all sin, uncleanness, whatever gets in the way of being fully sold out to God. “It is the time of year to wipe the slate clean . . .  In order to embrace the new we have to get rid of the old . . .  God wants us to purge the leaven from our hearts and minds . . . .  cast off the baggage, pride arrogance, lust . . . crucifying the flesh. What we do in the natural is a picture of what we do in the supernatural. We need to clean out the dirt in our lives” (Message From the Bema, by Rabbi Cal Goldberg, Mar.17, 2018, “Beginning of Months & Appointed Times,” Beth Shechinah).

Yeshua became the Passover Lamb so we could do so. Many “Christians” who keep lent use that time to rid themselves of sinful desires, wrong intentions, motives, lust, perversion, greed, materialism, covetousness, denying oneself the unnecessary desires of the flesh. It’s a time to prune/purge the flesh; reevaluate one’s priorities; get right with our Lord/Master/King/Saviour.

I studied 7 different translations (too many to include here) in preparing this study. Although someone not particularly fond of the NLT, I must include that one here, however:

NLT – I include this translation, because I find extreme value in noting that the wording applies this to those individuals in the Body of Christ who are living in sin. We live in a society that is increasingly hung up on the concept of “not judging;” however, as a body of believers we are to bring to correction those who are not following sound doctrine. Notice from this passage that Paul is instructing his congregation of believers to remove anyone who is living a lifestyle of sin because it will influence and affect others. This is something that is not commonly addressed today, for fear of being accused of judging, fear of offending, and of not being politically correct. My friends, we are to fear God, not man (Matt.10:28).

We see from Dr. Henry Blackaby’s Study Boxes, that even though he is not a “Messianic” he reinforces the concepts imbedded in the Old Testament  we are to be a “new lump” free from sin, committed to a life of ongoing cleansing and purifying, surrendering that leaven to the Lord, because of what He did on the Cross. That is what Passover should mean for God’s people today.

From Dr. Henry Blackaby’s Study Bible, the 2 copied-in Study Boxes, not only ask questions that challenge the erroneous interpretations/misunderstandings about the laws of Torah, but also indicate that believers still have a part to play today – i.e., it is the believer’s responsibility to surrender those practices which must be purged.

It is evident that there is a tie-in or a common thread: just as the Old Testament notion of leaven indicated evil/sin, so too the apostle Paul, indicates the ongoing need to die to self, to completely surrender, and purge the flesh of all known sin. That is the tie-in; although they purged by strict adherence to the law, through sacrificing a lamb by a priest, we continue to purge by the sacrifice of the “pure spotless lamb who came to take away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and who gave us His Holy Spirit to empower us to get rid of sin, and walk as Jesus/Yeshua walked, for “we can do all things through Yeshua Messiah, Who strengthens us” (Phil.4:13).

From Zondervan’s Commentary – above (and this is not even Messianic, of course), it is realized that: (a) Not only are believers to keep Passover, but (b) to live lives in Holy consecration to God: “present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom.12:1,2); once again, this requires participation; this does not happen by osmosis, or by waving a magic wand. This is what Paul is referring to when he says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil.2:12). Why would he say “work out. . .” if there weren’t a need to participate? Purge the flesh from weaknesses, strongholds, old hurts, etc. by an act of will, by the power of God’s Word, not by trendy New-Age techniques of positive affirmations, self-healing, and the like.  It is by surrendering each specific item/weakness/desire/sin/hurt, to the Lord, “through prayer and supplication, make all your requests known unto God, and the peace of Christ that passes all understanding will keep your hearts/minds in Yeshua Ha-Mashiach/Christ Jesus” (Phil.4:6,7), for “by His stripes we are healed” (Isa.53:5); yet, again, this requires participationknowing His Word, believing His Word, Walking in His Word; surrendering those parts of the self that need healing/purging to the work of the Cross in our lives.

There is so much infiltration of New Age Doctrine in the “Church” today, it must grieve the heart of God to see that, rather than the application of His Word; rather than surrendering to Him, many believers subscribe to so-called “positive affirmations,” affirming this and that, in an attempt to feel worthwhile, regain/acquire self-esteem, etc. God’s Word has all we need to enable us to derive our value and worth, as well as our healing: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—put these things into practice (i.e., walk in them) and the God of shalom will be with you” (Phil.4:8,9). You might be wondering what on earth this has to do with Passover . . . .. . .  Everything! It is part of why Yeshua went to the Cross. It pertains to the concept of purging, as those who are following New Age Doctrine, their slogans, and mantras need to be nailed to the Cross, purged – by confessing, repenting, and surrendering them to the Lord. Everything must be brought to the Cross – the place of deliverance. Please understand that Passover is about deliverance: “Passover is the story of freedom and deliverance – the season of freedom. It’s not only a celebration of Israel’s freedom, but a celebration of our own freedom through Messiah” (Message From the Bema, by Rabbi Cal Goldberg, Mar.17, 2018, “Beginning of Months & Appointed Times,” Beth Shechinah).

Yahweh delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt; then Yeshua delivered us from eternal damnation through His sacrifice. This IS  what Passover is about: He has passed over our sins. So you say “then why should WE have to DO anything? The answer is: (a) First, we must believe; (b) we must receive; yes, we must receive what He did in its application to real life circumstances;  © If we want to live in true freedom and victory we must participate by living/walking it out in our own lives, acting as though that healing, freedom, and deliverance was real; as though we actually believe it; because until/unless you do, it will not be actualized/realized in your life. It is not only possible, but altogether too common, that many believers are just barely saved and continue to live their lives in bondage because they are either unaware or unwilling to make the sacrifice of self, submitting and surrendering those bondages, sinful ways, past hurts, sinful lifestyles, to the work of the Cross. Just because a generic statement of surrender has been made, this does not constitute surrender, because it does not account for each item requiring surrender. It is the individual’s responsibility to identify specifically those areas of sin, darkness, error, transgression, etc. and surrender them – daily; nail them to the Cross (yes, Passover does include this; didn’t Christ die on the Cross for all these sins?!). In keeping Passover we remember what God did for the Israelites; we acknowledge what Christ/Messiah did on the Cross; and we should tie it into what that means we must do now, in order to truly walk in that victory.

© 2017, revised 2018, 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.

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