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God’s Appointed Pathway

“The Feast of Unleavened Bread” Leviticus 23:4-8, Exodus 12:14-20

Date:August 21, 2022
Author: Wayne J. Edwards



The Feast of Unleavened Bread points to the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem, and in Hebrew, Beit-Lechem means “House of Bread.”
  • Jesus said He was the “Bread of life, “and that all who came to Him would never hunger or thirst for righteousness again.
  • The exact moment the Jews were bringing their leaven to the synagogue for public burning, Jesus was being nailed to the cross as God’s judgment upon our sin.
  • Just as the feast of unleavened bread was observed on the 15th of Nisan, so the lifeless body of the Lord Jesus lay buried in a rock hewn tomb and guarded by a Roman soldier.

   The main application of the Feast of Unleavened Bread to us today is to constantly rid ourselves of the leaven of the world through continual confession, for even as those who are saved by God’s grace, if we choose not to confess our sins we are also choosing to accept the consequences that go with that choice. This one verse should drive us all to our knees: “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long,” (Psalm 32:3)

   We will explain this further in our next sermon, “The Feast of Unleavened Bread,” which is based on our study of Leviticus 23, and Exodus 12.

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God’s Appointed Pathway
“The Feast of Unleavened Bread”
Leviticus 23:4-8, Exodus 12:14-20

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor

    In Leviticus 23:4, God referred to the seven annual feasts He had established for the children of Israel to observe as convocations.

  • The Hebrew word for “convocation” is “mikrah,” which was used to describe a “full dress rehearsal in preparation for a public performance.”
  • For 1500 years, God had the Hebrew people “act out” His prophetic plan for the redemption of lost man.
  • That annual drama clearly described the sacrificial death of God’s only begotten Son as the only means by which lost man can be saved.

   However, God’s drama of redemption actually began 430 years earlier when God made a covenant with a man named Abram who was from Mesopotamia.

  • In exchange for God’s protection, provision, and posterity, Abram had to leave his father and his father’s faith in false gods and go to a place where God would show him.
  • Abram obeyed God and traveled to the land of Canaan, where he became the father of the nation of Israel, and God changed his name from Abram to Abraham.

   According to Genesis 35, God extended His covenant with Abraham’s son, Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob.

  • However, due to a severe famine in the land of Canaan, Jacob had to move his family to Egypt, where, for the next 430 years, the Israelites grew into a nation of more than 3 million people.
  • While they prospered materially, they weakened spiritually.
  • God used the threat of Pharaoh to awaken their need of Him, and for the first time in 430 years, they cried out unto God.
  • But rather than just delivering His people from their bondage in Egypt, God chose to use this event to reveal His seven-step plan to redeem lost man from his bondage to Satan and his slavery to sin.
  • While on a natural level, these seven feasts celebrated some aspects of Jewish history, God intended these feasts to serve as His prophetic calendar for the seven most significant events in the history of the world, and they all find their fulfillment in the Person and work of Jesus of Nazareth.

   In Exodus 11:1-10, Moses described the tenth plague as the death of the firstborn in the land of Egypt.

  • God said every house in Egypt would be affected, from the King’s castle to the cattle stall.

  • However, God told each Hebrew family to sacrifice a lamb without spot or blemish, and to splash some of its blood on the top and sides of their outside door, so when the angel of death passed through at midnight, he would “pass over” the houses where he saw the blood.
  • The Feast of Passover points to Jesus as our Passover Lamb. 
  • Two thousand years ago, when the Jewish priests were sacrificing over 250,000 lambs to celebrate the annual Feast of Passover, Roman soldiers were crucifying Jesus on a cross, the Lamb of God, fulfilling the Feast of Passover for all those who receive Him as their Savior and submit unto Him as their Lord.

“For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

1 Corinthians 5:7b

  1. The Ancestry of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – Exodus 12:14-20 – “So this day shall be to you a memorial, and you shall keep it as a feast unto the Lord throughout your generations.”
  • The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th of Nisan, which was the day after Passover, and it lasted for seven days.
  • It was an annual celebration of the day their forefathers left Egypt in such a hurry they did not have time to add leaven to their dough and allow it to rise, so it came out of the oven as flat cakes rather than puffed-up loaves.
  • The Feast was to begin and end with a day-long convocation, they were to remove any form of leaven from their homes, and they were to eat only unleavened bread for seven days.
  1. The Addendum to the Feast of Unleavened Bread – Exodus 12:15-20 – “On the first day you are to remove leaven from your house, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel.”
  • Over the years, God’s command to remove any leaven from their homes became a tradition called “Bedikat HaMetz,” which in Hebrew means “the search for leaven.”
  • Hebrew mothers would clean their house of leaven and then hide ten small pieces (bread crumbs) in a particular place.
  • Hebrew fathers would take their children on a search for the leaven at night, with only a candle for a light, a wooden spoon, a feather, and a piece of linen cloth.
  • Once the leaven was found, the father would use the feather to sweep the crumbs up into the spoon, wrap them all up in the linen cloth, and the next morning, he would take it to the synagogue to be put on the fire to be burned.
  • In the Scriptures, leaven is always used as a symbol of sin.
  • Psalm 139:23-24 says: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me.”
  • 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 says: “Purge out the old leaven that you may be a new lump.”
  • 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    The Bible identifies several sins that are like leaven:

  • Matthew 16:6 – hypocrisy – saying one thing but doing another.
  • Matthew 16:6 – religiosity – having a façade of godliness but denying God’s power.
  • Mark 8:15 – that intrinsic desire for worldly power and recognition.
  • Galatians 5:7-9 – legalism – adding any kind of works as being necessary to one’s eternal salvation.
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-7 – apathy – allowing a person’s sinful behavior to go unchallenged until it infects the whole family or the whole church family.
  1. The Application of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – John 6:35 – “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’”
  • The Feast of Unleavened Bread points to the Person and work of Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus was born in the City of Bethlehem – “Beit-Lechem,” which means “The House of Bread.”
  • In Micah 5:2, the prophet said, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel.”
  • Unleavened Bread also points to the manner of Jesus’ ministry.
  • In Philippians 2:5-8, the Apostle Paul said Jesus was the model every Christian should follow: “Who, being in the form of God, made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant…He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
  • The very moment the Jews were bringing their linen napkins filled with leaven to the synagogue to be burned, Jesus was being nailed to the cross as God’s judgment upon our sin.
  • Just as the Feast of Unleavened Bread was observed on the 15th of Nisan, so the Lord’s body lay buried in the tomb and guarded by a Roman soldier.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’

2 Corinthians 5:21