Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Leavened Lump

I know that Passover is coming. I should be in preparation, but I keep putting it off. If I'm not careful, the feast will be upon me and I will be kicking myself for my procrastination, vowing that next year this will not happen again! But didn't I say that last year?

For Passover, I need to take out my Seder plate, afikoman bag, haggadahs, my recipes, and more! I need to do my shopping and the planning. Yet, while I am scrambling, in my procrastination, to get all these things collected and done, I will likely miss what is truly important in the feast.

Breathe. Sigh. First things first. What about the leaven? Before I worry about the Seder meal I need to clean my house of all leavening agents.

Exodus 12:15 (KJV)
15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

God has commanded that during the feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) there is to be no leaven (agents like yeast that make bread rise) within our homes. It is surprising where leaven can hide. Not only must we remove our yeast breads, but all the kinds of foods that contain yeast or other leavening agents. Hmmm, that box of onion soup mix contains yeast extract! Oh, no, my supplement of beta glucan contains saccharomyces cerevisiae! It all needs to go!

Yet, again, I find myself caught up in doing for doing sake. Paul's wise words pull me up short!

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (KJV)
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 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:
8 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.

In addressing the Corinthians, Paul admonished them not to tolerate the sinful behavior of someone in their fellowship. Up to this point, the Corinthians had allowed the sin to continue and were prideful about their tolerance. Paul asked them if they understood that a little leaven would leaven an entire loaf of bread. In this statement Paul was using leaven as a symbol of sin. He was cautioning them about the result of leaving sin to "grow" and infect the entire Corinthian congregation (verse 6).

He then told them to get rid of the leaven, to get rid of the sin, so that their congregation would be a "new lump", Since Yeshua was their Passover sacrifice they were "unleavened." In other words because of Yeshua they were righteous as Yeshua has made all those who trust in His death and resurrection for salvation, righteous (verse 7).

Paul then encouraged the Corinthian believers to keep the feast of Passover, not with leaven (the real physical agents), nor with the "leaven," or sin of malice and wickedness, but with the "unleavened bread" of sincerity of truth (verse 8).

Passover was coming for the Corinthians, but they weren't ready. They were living in pride, tolerating sin in their camp. When the feast came Paul wanted them to deal with the leaven (sin), but not in malice or wickedness, but with sincere truth.

Doing and observing the Seder and all the days of Unleavened Bread is important, but we can't afford to forget the most important aspects of the feast. Before we worry about all the "things" involved in the feast we need to remember to remove the leaven, and not just the crumbs of the toast we had for breakfast, but the sin that exists in our hearts and lives as well. Let's be committed to fully observing Passover as God intended. What else have I forgotten?

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