As we prepare for Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread, and examine ourselves so we take the Passover in a worthy manner, I hope all of us are focusing on a few things I’ll hi-lite here. Please take time to personally review each scripture in your own Bible. As we gather and feast on Messiah, there’s a lot to ponder.
*** PERSONALIZE your Passover. It wasn’t done just for the whole world, though that’s true too. Look at the examples of scripture, like how Paul says Christ “died for ME” (Galatians 2:20). The Israelites were told to tell their children that Passover is about what God “did for ME” (Exodus 13:8-9). FEEL those verses. Know God chose YOU and died for YOU through Christ. In Exodus 12, being under the blood of the lamb saved their lives. Today, being under the blood of Messiah – saves us for eternity! Hallelujah.
Make this real. Make it about what God did for YOU, just you – and then we know of course that he did it for everyone else who will accept him as well.
** Look at the SPIRITUAL meaning of everything you are doing.
The blood of the lamb is the blood of the Lamb of God. Putting out leaven is more about focusing on surrendering and giving up our remaining life behavior and thought patterns that are contrary to God’s Way. Throwing out leaven is really pointing to repentance – and leaving the old way, getting all of it out of our lives. Repentance is proving you’re sorry for your sins by throwing out the old patterns – the point of deleavening.
It makes little difference if we found and removed every crumb of leaven – but we still sinned with hardly a fight. We got drunk this week, or we looked at porn - again, or lost our temper – again, or pigged out as a glutton would, or were lax on keeping the sabbath day holy and set-apart. It makes little difference if we emptied the cupboards of leavened products but continue to shack up instead of honoring your partner and GOD -- and coming into a covenant marital relationship instead of living in sin.
DO TRUE deleavening, in other words, and put out the sinful ways we each still have. And really ultimately, we have to come to Yeshua and ask him to wash us thoroughly in his blood and to keep washing us thoroughly. It’s an ongoing activity! (1 John 1:7 is in the ongoing present tense – “cleanses”).
So you looked into every crevice of your couch and chairs and under cabinets – so what, if you or I continue to wallow in self-pity, worry, anxiety or fear – instead of trusting in our King, who has offered to take all of that from you, if you would just surrender it to Him.
So personalize it. Verbally with your lips and even more so with your heart – recognize Yeshua as the object of everything we do at Passover season.
Don’t keep this Passover with “old leaven” – old sinful habits we hang on to.
1 Corinthians 5:8 -- “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”.
Sincerity and truth aren’t pieces of bread – but Paul is pointing us to the spiritual point of all that we’re doing. So he speaks of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. It’s way beyond bread and wine and leavened bread or matzah or vacuuming our house.
Remember Yeshua said, “this is the NEW COVENANT in my blood which is shed for you” (1 Cor. 11:25). He also reminded us – that in the new covenant – our focus is “in remembrance of ME” – of Christ. The Exodus 12 Passover pointed to Yeshua. Remember HIM – much more than the symbols of Ex. 12.
LOOK TO Yeshua in all of us. Rejoice in his victorious resurrection. It is by his LIFE that we are saved. We’re forgiven by his Blood, but saved by his life, being lived anew in you (Romans 5:10-11).
Spiritual meaning, focus on that. When you drink of the wine, remember the Bible also focuses a lot on “the CUP”. Drinking of one’s cup meant willingly accepting what God has in store for each of us – whether it seems good or bad. Even Yeshua, in the garden of Gethsemane, asked if there was any other way than to drink of that cup – but always ended it with our perfect example of “not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:41-44).
So as you look for leaven, look for true leaven of hypocrisy, of malice and wickedness that remains in your life; items you haven’t surrendered yet. Where are we still hypocritical?
*** Passover is a memorial of God’s RECONCILIATION with you – even though he opened the way while you and I were still ungodly sinners. He died for the ungodly – including you and me (Rom 5:6-11 – please read it).
If we don’t forgive and reconcile with everyone who has issues against us, or we have issues against them – our prayers at Passover won’t mean much, frankly. Reconcile with anyone you’re not at peace with. Maybe your daughter, your son, your husband, your father, your mother – your neighbors, your work associates, anyone you are not at peace with.
Good scriptures to review: Romans 5:9-11; Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 6:11-14. I’ll have a sermon soon on Reconciliation with everyone possible and forgiving everyone with whom you’re at odds.
As you wash other’s feet this year – remember Yeshua already washed his/her feet – and yours too. You’re just acknowledging God has already cleaned them up, and you as well. It’s more than just being a humble servant.
*** Be SURE you EAT unleavened bread each day, focusing on what that pictures! FEAST ON MESSIAH! He’s what the bread pictures.
The Passover season and days of unleavened bread is not just about NOT eating leavened products – but EATING unleavened bread. That pictures the life of Yeshua, the bread from Heaven (John 6). Again, look at the spiritual meaning! This is much more than just eating matzah for a week.
We all want the resurrected Jesus living in us more and more. With every piece of unleavened bread, remember – and say in your heart, “Dear Savior, my beloved king, come and BE my new life. We are what we eat. I want to fully devour your way of life and I invite you as my Savior – not just one time but day by day! Yeshua, BE my life. I want to FEAST on you during this special time. I love what you’ve done for me, - yes for ME --, and I praise you Father in heaven for resurrecting your Son, my King! Now may I glory in his resurrection being lived out anew in me.”
As you eat the unleavened bread, remember the righteousness you seek is not what comes from your own obedient actions now – but the righteousness that is from God, by faith, as HIS GIFT (Rom 5:17) to you. That’s what the UNLEAVENED bread pictures. And of COURSE, as I’ve been saying, surrender and change and obey as well.
But in fact, we don’t want the righteousness that comes from our own efforts (read Philippians 3:8-11) but that which is from God by faith in Christ’s life. ALL our righteousness is Christ. Philippians 1:11 says “…being filled with the fruits of righteousness that are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” – not to your glory for all you have done.
Sure – unleavened bread also pictures – as we always hear – humility, and not being all puffed up. But in a nutshell, we’re really picturing a new life; Yeshua is now our life and our righteousness. See also Colossians 3:1-4 again.
I have several sermons on God’s righteousness you can find on this website. And please read these verses below, also.
** Romans 9:30-33; Romans 10:1-4.
** Romans 3:19-26. Verse 20 – all the law-keeping you can do won’t make you righteous enough. Just ask Job. V. 25-26 – God wants us to see HIS righteousness at work in us, not our own attempts at it. Then read Romans 4:20-25 – Abraham’s faith resulted in God’s righteousness being imputed to him, but not to him only, but to us also.
***REMEMBER TO ALSO BE FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT of faith. I’ll give a full-fledged sermon on just this magnificent point: remember we’re in a WAR against evil spirits. We are to be AWARE of that and fight HARD.
This includes bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (please read 2 Cor. 10:3-6). TO do that, we have to be into God’s word enough that clear Biblical teaching comes to mind with every errant thought. We recognize the attack – often coming as something we’d carnally like to do – capture it, demolish it with the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17-18), and then continue to dwell on what GOD says to you about that thought. Think on GOOD things. Let’s get off the negatives, the worries, the fears.
Paul’s not fooling around here. It’s a real war. And in the end, he declares he has “fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith”, (2 Timothy 4:7-8). He goes on to say he was certain of receiving the crown of righteousness and that we all should look for that too.
So have a wonderful Passover season. Know God would do all of it, even just for you.