“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.”-Exodus 12:14-15
In chapter 12 of Exodus, another God-ordained festival is actually laid out in addition to Passover.
It is the Festival of Unleavened Bread or The Feast of MATZAH in Hebrew.
While verses 1-13 are all about God explaining to Moses how to observe the first ever Passover in Egypt, verses 14-20 look to the future and go into detail about how Passover is to be observed by future generations of Israelites as well as those gentiles who have enjoined themselves to Israel.
Notice verse 14 makes it crystal clear this is to be a memorial FOREVER and not until some Roman Emperor or Bishop decides otherwise (pardon my sarcasm).
Although some people mistakenly lump Passover together with the Feast of Unleavened Bread, these are actually two different feasts.
Passover by itself is technically a one-day event on NISAN 14 only.
The Feast of MATZAH begins the next day on NISAN 15 and lasts for seven days ending on NISAN 21.
During this period, Israel is to refrain from eating bread with yeast or leaven in it.
In addition, every household is to dispose of food items containing leaven in them.
Verse 19 says there is a very severe penalty if anybody breaks this rule.
The offending person is to be “cut off” or “KARET” from Israel.
Being cut off didn’t just mean being excommunicated from one’s own family and tribe.
The offender in question would be cut off from the Lord and the spiritual benefits of being part of Israel would be terminated.
Why was this such a serious issue?
First, on a practical level, the Israelites had to be ready to leave Egypt at a moment’s notice and thus they couldn’t wait for the dough to rise.
Second, leaven in the Bible is symbolic of sin and deceit.
Leaven, a picture of sin, makes the bread inflate.
Likewise, sin makes one prideful and puffed-up.
Let’s see what the Apostle Paul had to say about this:
“Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?
Get rid of the old yeast,
so that you may be a new unleavened batch—
as you really are.
For Yeshua, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Therefore let us keep the Festival,
not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
-1 Corinthians 5:6-8
What is the Apostle Paul saying here?
He’s saying be careful to remove all the leaven out of your life!
Don’t let even an itty bitty amount of sin get a foothold!
In our lives, we’re always making excuses.
“It’s just a little sin.”
“It’s just a little lie.”
“It’s just a little gossip.”
“It’s just a little pork.”
“It’s just a little half-truth.”
“It’s just a little dishonesty.”
No, it’s NOT just a little.
Let me tell you something.
A “little gossip” can leaven the whole lump and destroy a relationship.
A “little flirting” can leaven the whole lump and destroy a marriage.
A “little dishonesty” in the workplace can leaven the whole lump and cause you to lose your job.
A little leaven here and there can be fatal.
That’s why the Scriptures warn us to not only not eat anything with leaven in it, but to get it completely out of our homes.