“Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.” (Exodus 12:15)
With Passover (the Festival of Unleavened Bread) beginning soon, all over Israel every man, woman and child will soon be busy cleaning their homes, closets, shelves, drawers and vehicles in order to be ready for this most important celebration.
Preparing for Passover is the ultimate in spring cleaning!
In obedience to the eternal commandment that YEHOVAH gave to the children of Israel to remove leaven (yeast) from their houses, every nook and cranny must be emptied, sorted and wiped in order to make sure that each dwelling place is free of chametz (leavened products) before Passover begins
Matzah (unleavened bread), however, is first eaten during the Passover Seder, which is a special ceremonial meal where the story of the Exodus from Egypt is recounted. It is eaten every day throughout the festival for seven days.
Why Fuss over a Little Leaven (Yeast)?
“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”
In the Bible, yeast symbolizes sin.
It is also a powerful metaphor for learning about YEHOVAH and living a life of holiness.
So, just like yeast (leaven) eats away at the sugars in the dough, sin eats away at us and causes us to become separated from ELOHIM.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your ELOHIM; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
Leaven and the Sin of Pride
“Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?” (1 Corinthians 5:6)
When it comes to leaven as a metaphor, Scripture especially narrows in on the sin of arrogance, boasting, conceit and pride.
In the same way that a little yeast affects the whole batch of dough, causing it to become puffed up, a little bit of pride and arrogance in our hearts causes us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.
We must deal with the leaven in our own hearts, knowing that arrogance is not pleasing to YEHOVAH, and pride often precedes our own downfall.
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
The Sin of Arrogance can have deadly consequences
At Passover, the Jewish People practice a beautiful custom called bedikat chametz /search for leaven.
The eve before Passover, the leader of the household, usually the father, holds a candle and guides his family around the house.
With the lights extinguished, they search for any remnant of chametz /leavened products by the light of this single candle.
The feather, spoon, candle and prayers for the Bedikat
The children search every nook and cranny for crumbs of bread that have been carefully wrapped and hidden ahead of time by the mother.
Each crumb of bread is found with exclamations of delight, “Oh! There it is. I found one!”
This meaningful search continues until the very last crumb of leaven is removed.
Using a feather, they are swept away into a bag to be burned the next morning.
On the morning of Erev Pesach /Evening of Passover, which is, there will be a multitude of small fires burning all over Israel as each family burns their small pile of chametz.
This special ceremony /bedikat chametz demonstrates how the light of YAH’s Word, symbolized by the candle, searches our hearts for any pride or arrogance that may be lurking, hidden in the darkness.
The feather symbolizes the work of the RUACH HAKODESH /HOLY SPIRIT sweeping the sin away.
The bi’ur chametz fire shows how YEHOVAH destroys this leaven, for YAH is a consuming fire!
Passover in the New Testament/New Covenant
Just as an overgrowth of yeast in the body may become a systemic infection and must be dealt with before it causes serious physical problems, the “leaven” or sin within the assembly of GOD must be dealt with accordingly.
The Apostle Paul makes use of the imagery of Passover and the cleansing of the chametz to exhort the Believers in Corinth to get rid of the sin of malice and wickedness and live the holy life they are truly capable of living, free from the bondage to sin.
“Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Messiah, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.
“Therefore let us keep the Festival of Passover, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:7–8)
The Leaven of False Teachings
In the New Covenant , leaven /yeast can also represent false teachings.
YESHUA warned people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.
By this, YESHUA was not referring to bread, but to their teachings that did not align with the Word of YAH (Matthew 16:11–12).
The Apostle Paul also warns the Gentiles in the Church to beware of the sin of pride and arrogance, particularly in their relationship to the Jewish People.
Furthermore, in the Book of Romans, Paul reminds those who have been supernaturally grafted into the natural olive tree which is Israel by the mercy and grace of YEHOVAH, not to boast over the other branches:
“If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.” (Romans 11:17–18)
One way many Believers boast over their fellow branches
(the Jewish People) is by believing the false teaching of replacement theology.
This errant doctrine teaches that YEHOVAH has rejected the Jewish People the nation of Israel and that the Church is the “New Israel.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Scripture is clear that YEHOVAH will never forsake His people Israel and will always keep covenant with them.
“For YEHOVAH will not reject His people; He will never forsake His inheritance.” (Psalm 94:14)
Passover, Leaven, and YEHOVAH’s Plan for Israel and the body of YESHUA
Arrogance and pride can prevent us from understanding YEHOVAH’s plans and purposes for the Jewish people, Israel, and the role of the body of YESHUA.
As Passover approaches, let’s remember that only temporary blindness has come upon the Jewish People so that salvation would come to the Gentiles, and after that to the nation of Israel.
“Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.” (Romans 11:11)
YEHOVAH can and will lift the veil from the Jewish People’s eyes to see their Messiah YESHUA, and when the Jewish people accept YESHUA as their Messiah, it will mean resurrection and life for the entire world!
“For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15)
During this time when Jewish People are cleansing their homes from leaven, pray that they will recognize that YESHUA is indeed the Promised Messiah.
let search our hearts for the leaven of sin, making them “Kosher for Passover,” so that we may walk in humility, with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
“I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against Me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against Me.”
Chag Samech Happ Passover from