I love bread.
The smell. The taste. The whole process of mixing and kneading and rising and baking.
Maybe it’s due to growing up in a French city, but I can’t think of a more perfect pairing than warm bread and butter. Can you?
I love sourdough, too. It’s one of the most ancient kinds of bread. It’s what the Egyptians ate. So did the Jews when they were in Egypt. I tried cultivating and keeping a sourdough “mother” to use instead of store-bought yeast. People cultivate these “mothers” and keep them alive for months, years, even decades. They pass pieces of them to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. One such sourdough starter is over 122 years old! It’s literally a connection to the past.
When God delivered the Jews from Egypt, the women would have wanted to save a pinch of Egyptian sourdough to make leavened bread in the wilderness. But God said no. Through Moses, He commanded the Israelites to leave Egypt without a trace of leaven:
Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten…Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters (Exod 13:3, 7)
Hundreds of years before, during a time of famine, the patriarchs left the promised land in search for bread, found it in Egypt, only to become slaves there. Now God commanded them to leave both Egyptian slavery and Egyptian leaven behind.
They were about to start a new life.
God would provide them with bread from heaven—manna. He would be their supply and they would learn to depend on God, not Egypt.
Purging the leaven, and celebrating that as a feast year after year, would remind them of that new beginning.
You and I have the same lesson to learn and the same feast to keep.
Paul told the Corinthians:
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us (1 Cor 5:7)
This verse deals directly with church discipline and kicking out a rebellious church member to keep the assembly pure. But the same principle applies to your life. This is a call to holiness. Purge out the old leaven in your life—the malice and the wickedness (as Paul will say). How? By changing your mindset. See yourself as you are in Christ—a new lump, a new creation, redeemed by the Passover lamb.
The wilderness generation lost their way by focusing on their problems instead of on God. They longed to be in Egypt. They misremembered the pleasures, and forgot about the slavery. The carnal mind plays tricks on you like that!
Don’t make the same mistake.
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 (1 Cor 5:8)
Keep the feast! That is, remember! Take your focus away from the problem, and put it on a Person—Jesus. Think who you are in Him. Remember and trust in His provision. Because you, too, are meant to live an unleavened life.