What is the Feast of Unleavened Bread?
The primary theme is the purging out of leaven.
Lev 23:6 ‘And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread to יהוה – seven days you eat unleavened bread.”
Even though the Unleavened Bread forms part of the Passover celebrations, this festival should by no means be regarded as minor.
Exo 12:15 ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Indeed on the first day you cause leaven to cease from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that being shall be cut off from Yisra’ĕl (we are grafted into Yisra’el when we believe in the Messiah and obey YHWH’s instructions (Torah).”
We remove the leaven from our homes physically and spiritually we are to remove the yeast/sin from our lives and separate ourselves from the world (all evil).
Exo 12:16 ‘And on the first day is a set-apart gathering, and on the seventh day you have a set-apart gathering. No work at all is done on them, only that which is eaten by every being, that alone is prepared by you”
The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins with a High Shabbat. It is not the weekly Sabbath. Now we can understand more that Yeshua was not crucified and buried on a (good) Friday, but môre likely on a Wednesday that year. It is explained for us in:
Joh 19:31 Therefore, since it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath – for that Sabbath was a high one – the Yehuḏim (Jews) asked Pilate to have their legs broken, and that they be taken away.”
Remember that a Biblical day starts on the evening before.
Gen 1:8b ….And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the second day.”
Wednesday (fourth day) 14th of Abib (or Nisan):
9 am Yeshua crucified
3 pm Yeshua died and then buried before sundown
Thursday (fifth day) 15th of Abib
Friday (sixth day) 16th of Abib
The women bought and prepared spices to balm Yeshua
Saturday (seventh day) 17th of Abib
The Weekly Shabbat
Sunday (first day) 18th of Abib
While still dark, women came to the tomb.
The tomb was empty.
Yeshua was crucified 3 pm on the 14th and buried just before sundown, the beginning of the High Sabbath. So He was in the grave 3 nights and 3 days, according to the sign of the prophet Jonah which He gave the Pharisees.
Mat 12:39 But He answering, said to them, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Yonah. “For as Yonah was three days and three nights in the stomach of the great fish, so shall the Son of Aḏam be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Yeshua was resurrected after the weekly Sabbath, that is “Saturday” night, because Mary Magdalena (Miryam from Maḡdala) rose up before it was light and found that the stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty. (John 20:1)
Exo 12:17 – 20 ‘And you shall guard the Festival of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I brought your divisions out of the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt / symbolizing the world). And you shall guard this day throughout your generations, an everlasting law.‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening.
‘For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, that same being shall be cut off from the congregation of Yisra’ĕl, whether sojourner or native of the land. ‘Do not eat that which is leavened – in all your dwellings you are to eat unleavened bread.’ ”
The fact that one should abstain from leaven is quite serious for YHWH, as He repeats it 15 times in Exodus 12 and 13.
The period prior to Passover is marked by extensive preparations and several special ceremonies. The most important of these concerns the removal of leaven of yeast from the house. Ex 12:19 and Ex 13:7
Exo 12:19 ‘For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, that same being shall be cut off from the congregation of Yisra’ĕl, whether sojourner or native of the land.”
It is this house cleaning “ceremony” that Sha’ul (Paul) had in mind when he wrote to the Corinthian Believers, to treat the sin of immorality as if it were like leaven during Passover.
1Co 5:7 “Therefore cleanse out the old leaven, so that you are a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Messiah our Passover was offered for us. So then let us observe the festival, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
2Co 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of Elohim.”
1Pe 3:18-19 Because even Messiah once suffered for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to Elohim, having been put to death indeed in flesh but made alive in the Spirit in which also He went and proclaimed unto the spirits in prison”
Why Do We Observe This Festival?
The Feast of Unleavened bread affords us a time for self searching and introspection.
We have to cleanse the leaven of sin from our lives by allowing the Set Apart (Holy) Spirit to reveal to us through the Scripture the sin (leaven) in our lives. We have to deal with sin ruthlessly!
It is surprising how many times a day one is reminded of this cleansing process as you crave a piece of bread 🙂 Just like a good old fast.
In this respect we also become like matzah (unleavened bread). We shun all evil and say “NO” to sin. While everybody is indulging in leavened bread of sinfulness, we (Yisra’el) separate ourselves from worldly ways: the pride of life; the love of money; gratifying the sinful nature; immorality; drunkenness; etc. and we eat the bread of purity and set-apartness.
Exo 12:15 ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.” (also Ex 13:6 ; Deut 16:3)
There are so many “sevens” in the Scriptures. The seven days of creation, the seven fold Spirit of YHWH, the seven Festivals, the seven churches of Revelation and many more.
Two Feasts are to be celebrated for 7 days: The Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread we come into the habit of complete separation from all things that are sinful, symbolised by leaven or yeast. And when we crave a piece of bread, we learn to feed upon Yeshua, Who is our Bread of Life, symbolized by the Unleavened Bread. We are only allowed unleavened bread, so we learn to feed on Yeshua wholeheartedly, fully and completely.
Following Unleavened Bread
This Festival should be done in a family setting, as leaven is removed from the home. All articles containing yeast is taken out (given away or thrown away.. including cookies, biscuits, marmite, instant soup, etc). What a wonderful opportunity to teach our children to remove sin from their lives while the eat home-made matzah (unleavened bread) for 7 days!
Pro 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he turns not away from it.”