Dear Readers, Beloved of God,
I pray that you have been blessed and received divine revelation from God as you read Part 1 of this series! We now continue our journey and embark on part 2, “The Feast of Unleavened Bread.”
“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord;”
(Leviticus 23:6) NKJV
The second feast of the festival begins on the next night following Passover; “The fifteenth day of the same month.” It would do us well here to again take note of a little history. We must first define “leaven” in order to see the significance of its use. If we wanted to bake homemade bread today, we would not go to the store for “leaven”. We would ask for “yeast”.
Yeast is a micro-organism that is defined as part of the fungi family; they produce asexually and do not require sunlight. They digest sugar and excrete carbon dioxide and alcohol as by products, thus we have the “lump” of bread. As we see, “leaven” and “yeast” is the same thing by use of a different name. Yeast has a damaging effect on life; therefore the Bible uses it as a metaphor for “sin.” Sin has a decaying effect in our lives as Christians, thus the related symbolism. Support for the leaven-sin symbolism is found in Matthew 16:11-12.
Unleavened bread has its roots in Exodus 16:31, it was called manna by the Israelites and was in fact the “Bread from heaven.” The manna appeared on the ground every morning to sustain the lives of Israel, except on the Sabbath. God told them to collect double portion just before the Sabbath to get them through the end of Sabbath. The manna was unleavened; miraculously did not decay over the Sabbath period, and became the “Bread of Life” for the Jews. The best definition of manna is found in the scriptures: “And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” (Exodus 16:31) “Manna” in the Hebrew means “what is it?”
“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.” (Leviticus 23:6) KJV
God had told the Jews to eat only the pure unleavened bread during the week (seven days) following Passover. Unleavened bread eaten during this time frame symbolized a holy walk (sinless), as with the Lord. The very piece of bread used by the Jews during this week of unleavened bread is a “type and shadow” of our Lord. The Jewish “matzoh” (bread) is striped and pierced, pure, without any leaven, and His body was without any sin! Remember these scriptures: “By His stripes are we healed”, and “They shall look upon Me Whom they pierced?” The seven days of the feast of unleavened bread foreshadows the complete (number seven) sinless (without leaven) sacrifice of God’s Lamb the Messiah.
The Jewish Passover ceremony consists of breaking, burying, and then resurrecting a piece of the matzoh. God performed this exact ceremony with the burial of Jesus, our precious piece of unleavened bread, and on the exact day of the feast! Jesus was buried at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread since His body was interred at sundown of Passover day, the beginning of the fifteenth day of the first month.
Let us now look upon Jesus, our precious piece of Unleavened Bread, through the spiritual eyes of the New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem, which in Hebrew means “the Bread of Life.”
It was prophesied that Jesus would be a sacrifice:
“He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7) NKJV
Jesus Himself celebrated the Passover and Feast Unleavened Bread:
“Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us that we may eat.” (Luke 22:7-8) NKJV
Jesus used the word “Bread” as an analogy of Himself:
“Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:31-33) NKJV
“I am the bread of life. Your father’s ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:48-51) NKJV
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (John 12:24) NKJV
A “single grain of wheat” as used here is Jesus Himself! The “much grain” here referred to is all born again Christians thereafter! Praise God! Thank you Jesus! I just had to shout it out!
The manna of old was not allowed to decompose and neither would Jesus:
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption [decomposition]. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”
(Psalm 16:9-11) NKJV
I have often heard this question asked; “How was it that Jesus died on the cross so fast?” This question is raised because Roman crucifixion was a horrible and torturous method of death! Its victims were supposed to live at least three (3) days before dying. This meant that all who carried on with the business of daily life, walked by and saw the one hanging on a cross each day until death arrived. Humiliation was also part of the punishment! But, Jesus only hung on the cross for six (6) hours, from 9:00 AM (“The third hour”) until 3:00PM, and took His last breath. So, how was it that Jesus died on His cross in six (6) hours? The answer as to why He died in six hours is because that’s all the time He could spare! Our Lord never missed or omitted an appointed feast! He said Himself very decidedly that no one could take His life from Him- “I lay it down and I take it up again!”
Did I properly bridge the gap between the Old and New Testament “leaven”? Can you see that Jesus is our Passover Lamb and our pure and sinless Unleavened Bread? Are you seeing the prophetic qualities of Leviticus 23? As our “Passover”, He is our sinless Lamb sentenced to die in our place. As our “Unleavened Bread” He was buried an offering to God. Our “kernel of wheat” was placed in the ground so we could multiply. It is my prayer beloved that the Great I am gifts you with revelation of His holy Word!
Next in the series is the study of the Feast of First Fruits. Be sure not to miss it. The prophetic picture that is being painted will continue to become clearer and clearer. Until we meet again, rest in the loving arms of Jesus, our Passover Lamb…