The act of leaving Egypt with unleavened bread has led to one of the most colorful traditions of the Passover season. In anticipation of the days of unleavened bread, Jewish mothers do their “spring cleaning.” With great care they sweep and search and scrub their homes to remove every bit of leaven all in an effort to remove any trace from their homes. Then just before Passover, bonfires are lit all over Israel to destroy any of the bread and crumbs that have been found.

Rabbis point out that leaven puffs up bread the way pride does. Unleavened bread speaks of our readiness to put away the evil inclination that lives within all of us and having a humble and obedient heart. It reminds us that freedom is not enough. God did not deliver His people from Egypt just for them to be free, but that they’d be free from the bondage of sin. He delivered His people to enjoy the liberty that is found by all who learn to live in humble dependence on the one true God.

Rabbi Sha’ul was referring to Isaiah 53:7 when he alluded to this in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 when he said:

“Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Yeshua, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Therefore, the Feast of the Unleavened Bread speaks of the need for God’s people to live new lives marked by a break from the bondage that we had previously experienced in the kingdom of sin and darkness.

So as we are in this week of eating “flat bread” (matzah), let us be so very thankful that we have been delivered from this kingdom of sin and have entered into new life in the risen Messiah, Yeshua!

April 2011