Here is the second sermon in my series on the Spring Feasts focusing on Christ as our unleavened bread.
For those of you who may not remember me, allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Ephraim ben Avraham from Capernaum in Galilee. To be honest, it’s okay if you forget my name, but I pray that you will never forget the name of my Messiah, Jesus, who desires that you be a son of Avraham as well.
Last week I began telling you the story of Passover, which began at sunset on the fourteenth of Nisan. For my people our days always began at sunset. On the evening of the fourteenth of Nisan my family celebrated our Passover Seder and when the sun came up, still on the fourteenth of Nisan, Jesus, our Passover Lamb, was crucified. When the sun set after the crucifixion, on the fifteenth of Nisan, the week long Feast of Unleavened began. The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were so closely related that for my people to speak of one was to speak of the other.
Like the Passover, God gave us the Feast of Unleavened Bread to portray before our very eyes once a year what God would accomplish through his Messiah. The Feast of Unleavened Bread goes all the way back to our exodus from Egypt, the land of confinement and distress, the land of sin.
When God commanded us to celebrate the Passover he told us to eat the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. One reason God instructed us to eat unleavened bread that night was because we would not have time to allow the bread to rise before God brought us out of Egypt. However, that is not the main reason God commanded us to eat unleavened bread.
Like the Passover Lamb, the unleavened bread, or the matzoh, was a picture of Yeshua Hamashia, Jesus the Christ. Leaven was symbolic of sin. Thus to have a life full of leaven was to have a life full of sin.
If Jesus was to be our Passover Lamb, if his sacrifice was to deliver us from the leaven in our lives and from the death that came as a result of sin, then Jesus, like that unleavened bread, must be completely free from sin. In order for Jesus to bear my sin and your sin on the cross, he had to have no sin of his own for which he must die. Thank God, Jesus was our Unleavened Bread.
Every year my father would make sure we were in Jerusalem by the ninth of Nisan, five days before Passover. On the tenth of Nisan my father selected our family’s Passover lamb. We were commanded to select the lamb on the tenth of Nisan, take the lamb into our house and observe him for four days to make sure that our lamb had no defects which would disqualify him from being our Passover Lamb.
On that same day, the tenth of Nisan, after picking out our lamb my father and I would make the two mile walk to Bethany just outside Jerusalem. On that day the Passover Lamb which would give its life for the entire nation would be chosen. Then a huge procession would begin in Bethany to bring the lamb which had been selected to die for the nation to the temple in Jerusalem. During the procession those of us in the crowd would wave palm branches and joyfully shout, “O Lord, do save (Hosanna)… Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.