Bible Study Tools / Unleavened Bread

Preparing for the Spring Feasts

by Lillie Robinson
Photo Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash

Our Father God, and His son Jesus Christ, are Master teachers. They who created us, know that we learn best when we reinforce our hearing and our reading, by doing.

Thousands of years ago, in the spring, even before the giving of the Ten Commandments, God instructed Israel to put out leavened bread from their dwellings. It was to be done by the time they left Egypt after the Passover. They obeyed, and did as they were told.

Since the Lord made removing leaven from our dwelling places an ordinance forever (Exodus 12:15- 17), and because we are His chosen, then obedient baptized children (spiritual Israel) do it also.

The doing reinforces and helps us remember what we have read and been taught.

During the past thirty-eight years of deleavening our home, I have learned many lessons by doing certain things. The first year was an expensive lesson. Our family had spent the winter on a sailboat in the Bahamas, and we returned to Toronto on the very day of the Passover evening. We stayed over for the Night To be Much Observed the next evening, and the First Day of Unleavened Bread. Though I had cleaned the boat before leaving, I had not considered that we would not be home before Passover.

On opening our large freezer I was stunned to see that we had a huge stock of Sara Lee cakes and goodies. Giving it away was not an option for us, we felt, so we hastily took it and other things like ice cream cones, and cookies away to the dump. Those who are blessed with a cottage, or a recreational vehicle or a boat, do well to plan ahead.

As one can imagine, my painful lesson taught me to think ahead. As a result, I thoroughly go through my cupboards, pantry and freezer a few weeks before the Days of Unleavened Bread and gather things that must be used up into a cardboard box, where I can see them daily. I then make a plan as to how they will be consumed in time.

Searching for leaven and cleaning one’s home could be a mindless job, but I have learned that each year as I progress with my cleaning, I can search my mind too, thinking of why I do this.

I try to remember that leaven is a biblical symbol for sin; such things as vanity, hypocrisy, law breaking, malice, wickedness, and false doctrine.

These things are ugly, and I usually relate this fact to the shocking sight of crumbs and litter lurking under things I have just removed from a drawer.

This is the time to search my own life and see if there is any spiritual leaven lurking in me. This is the time to ask God for His forgiveness, and more of His Holy Spirit to empower me in resisting the sins I find in myself. This is an opportune time to dwell on how costly it was for Christ who gave His life to free me from sin. Now is my opportunity to remember that I am bought with a price, and my life needs cleaning, as well as my cupboards and drawers.

While deleavening, I use some of my time to pray for my brothers and sisters who are sick, or in pain, or mourning, or lonely, and ask God to help them through their trial. I also give Him thanks that I have a home to clean. Cleaning up crumbs or leaven means He has blessed me with food. Talking to God about my blessings while I do my cleaning, makes the chore lighter, I find, and gives me a grateful attitude. The work then does not seem so tedious.

Thinking about my blessings usually brings a song to mind, and so I praise God through singing. This can be a real spirit lifter and make my work seem to pass more quickly. God doesn’t require a perfect voice of us, but as my father used to say, “The Bible says ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord’ and anyone can do that.”

Doing the yearly search and removal of leaven should be shared. My children and my husband were not left out, but did their share in other areas than the kitchen. They too were included in the reinforcing action of the doing, not just knowing about God’s requirement of putting out leaven.

God knows that we can be forgetful children, and sometimes downright lazy.

Thus, through His continuous yearly lesson of physically removing leaven from our dwellings, He gives us an opportunity to grow spiritually, if we thoughtfully act on His instruction.

God is sinless, and wants to teach us to become the same, through His yearly lesson.

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