Jews praying at the wailing wall - Jerusalem.
Photo - Dale Krise - October, 2002
The Feast of the Unleaven Bread
The Feast of the Unleaven Bread begins the next night after the Passover and celebrates Israel being delivered from bondage in Egypt. Lev. 23:6
A morning and evening sacrifice was offered. Only unleaven bread is eaten and meat of the sacrifices. Exodus 12:19 states the seriousness of the commandment from God. “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.” Leaven is symbolic of sin and the Passover was a memorial to God’s delivering them from slavery in Egypt, but also a time of repentance and the putting away of sin. Galatians 5:9 says, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Leaven when placed in a lump of four with begin to grow and spread until it permeates the whole lump. The picture is that of one diligently searching for and getting rid of sin even the smallest sin in one’s life. Even as a little leaven (sin) will spoils the whole of the lump, therefore any and all sin is to be confessed and put out of one’s life.
In the Lord’s supper the believer is to examine (1 Cor. 11:28) and to judge ( 1 Cor. 11:31) himself in regard to having unconfessed or remaining sin in his life
The regular daily sacrifice was offered after the special offering. The 1st and 7th day like a Sabbath everyone rested with the exception of those preparing the food.
The 2nd day a barley sheaf of the new harvest was symbolically offered to the Lord, by waving it before the Lord (not burned). Those attending offer a freewill burnt offering of not less than sixteen grains of corn, a festive offering of not less that 32 grains, and a peace or joy offering (Deut. 27:7) determined by the giver. (Deut. 16:16-17)
1 Corinthians 5:7-8. Paul referred to the Passover and Unleaven Beard.
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
The History of the Passover.
Leaving Egypt (Exodus 12:28)
The Second year after the Exodus (Numbers 9:1-5).
When they entered Canaan (Exodus 13:5).
It is recorded as being observed only three times between entering the Promised Land and the Babylonian captivity.
Under Solomon. (2 Chron. 8:13)
Hezekiah and Josiah (2 Kings 23:21, 2 Chron. 35:1-9)
After the postexilic period (after the Babylonian captivity) it became more regular.
Jesus was born in the city, whose name means: “House of Bread” Bethlehem.
John 12:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
God fed the Israelites in the wilderness with manna and He feds Christians “the bread of life.” John 6:48
Unleaven bread pictures the suffering of the Messiah. Isaiah 53 prophesied of the suffering of the Messiah. The unleaven bread used in the Passover and during the feast of the Unleaven Bread is called “Matzo or Matsoh”.
Matzoh has stripes
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Matzoh has holes:
Zech. 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
John 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
Matzoh has no leaven:
Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Hebrews 9:28 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
The bread is placed in the middle section of the linen cloth with three pockets.
Most Jews have no idea why the Matzoh Tosh (Tash) has three pockets. Some rabbis teach that these represent Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; others say they portray the unity of worship -- priests, Levites and congregation; still others say they stand for the crowns of learning, priesthood and kingship. But there's no explanation for breaking and hiding the middle one. Christians have a better explanation; it involves the "bread of heaven," spoken of in John 6:32-59.He was beaten, crucified, buried and then raised.
A verse that is very holy to the Jews is the shemah of Deuteronomy 6:4-9,
"Hear, O Israel: the LORD thy God is one LORD. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children ... and thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."
That word "one" in the Hebrew is echad, meaning a composite oneness, not just the number one. It's the same word used in Genesis 2:24, where Adam and Eve are said to be "one flesh," and in Ezekiel 37 to describe the two sticks becoming one. Here it is describing the unity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit -- the three persons of the Godhead, acting as one. It represents the Trinity. Jesus is the Second person of the Trinity and He was “broken” for our transgressions.
This is the true meaning of the unity of the three matzohs in the matzoh tash. And which of these is the middle one? That is obviously God the Son -- Jesus the Messiah, our Lord. Let's see how He could be represented by a piece of unleavened bread. Read John 6:32-59. Verse 35 says,
“And Jesus said unto them, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
God subtly emphasized this truth in choosing the spot where His Son would be born. The meaning of the name "Bethlehem" is "house of bread." (By the way, the name "Nazareth" means "branch." That meaning clarifies the prophecy in Isaiah 11:1.)
But why isn't the sacrificed lamb still used? And how did matzohs come to prominence? Deuteronomy 12:11-14 says that people were not to offer sacrifices except at the location that God chose. Other scriptures make it clear that He chose the Temple site on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. When the Roman army, under Titus, destroyed the Temple in A.D.70, there was no more acceptable place for sacrifice of the lamb. That's why today's Passover meals don't include the meat of a lamb, merely a symbolic shank bone. The rabbis, in the second century A.D., instituted the use of matzohs to represent the sacrificed lamb. That practice still holds.
Now we can see why the middle matzoh is broken during the Passover, then hidden or buried. Jesus's body was broken for us, He died, and was buried. But He didn't stay dead -- He came back to life, came out of the tomb! That is represented by bringing out that matzoh later in the ceremony. It is then broken into pieces, and passed out to each person. And this is the exact spot during the Last Supper, when Jesus said, "This is my body which is given for you."
Jesus was buried at sundown of the Passover Day.
1. Why Christ died so quickly. Normally took three days. Person died
slowly, little by little.
2. The Centurion did not think Christ was dead, in six hours, he pieced
3. The Lord died in time to be buried at sundown that day. He was placed o
cross at 9 AM and taken down at 3 PM. There was time enough to prepare
the body and place it in the grave.
John 2:19 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
The feast lasts seven days. It was one of the three feast to be physically attended by all male Jews physically able to do so. (Ex. 23:17, Deut. 16:16) Feasts of pilgrimage upon which the Jews were to return to Jerusalem was Unleaven Bread, Tabernacles and Pentecost.
Special sacrifices were offered. Numbers 28-29.
The third feast is the Feast of the First Fruits and is held on the Sunday following the Feast of the Unleaven Bread. It is a special feast to acknowledge the fertility of the land God gave them.