Summary: The Passover was the first and most important feast day of the Jewish people... but it was only the first feast day of "The Feast of Unleavened Bread". There was a reason for that. Do you know what it was?
THE SCENE: Israel had been in slavery in Egypt for years. In answer to the prayers of the Israelite people, God sent Moses to Pharaoh with this command: “Let my people go!”
But of course Pharaoh wouldn’t listen and so God brought 10 terrible plagues upon Egypt and Pharaoh to convince them that it was in their best interests to honor His request.
This passage of Scripture from Exodus 12 we’ll be looking at this morning describes the beginning of the 1st and most important festival in the history of the Jewish people called the Passover.
From the day of Moses, until today - every year Jewish God-fearing families have partaken pf the Passover meal as closely as possible. Their Passover meal celebrates the love of their God who freed their ancestors from slavery and who passed over their homes because they obeyed Him in putting the blood of a sacrificed lamb upon the doorframes of their homes.
But Passover was only the first feast day in a week long festival called “The Feast of Unleavened Bread” And that’s what we’re going to be looking at today.
(At this point we read Exodus 12:1-28 and had our opening Prayer)
OPEN: An EMT was working in the Emergency Room when a father brought in his son. The boy had poked a tire from one of his toy trucks up his nose. The father was embarrassed, but the EMT assured him this was something kids often do.
The technician quickly removed the tire… and the father and son were on their way. But a few minutes later, the father was back in the ER asking to talk to the EMT in private.
The father into an examining room where he began: "While we were on our way home I was looking at that little tire and wondering, how on earth did my son get this thing up his nose…" and then he went on to explain what the problem was
Fortunately, it only took the EMT just a few seconds to get the tire out of Dad’s nose.
APPLY: There are certain things that don’t belong up a person’s nose.
They might fit.
They might NOT even cause much pain.
But they just don’t belong.
There are certain things that don’t belong in our bodies
There are certain things that don’t belong in our minds
And there are certain things that don’t belong in our homes
I. What intrigued me about this morning’s passage was that was precisely what The Feast of Unleavened Bread was designed to teach.
The Passover symbolized the freedom God wanted to give His people… but that feast was followed by 6 more days that focused on the fact that God’s kind of freedom required His people to REMOVE things from their lives and their homes.
During The Feast of Unleavened Bread - God’s people were instructed NOT ONLY not to eat leavened bread during that week. But they were not to allow ANYTHING that had ANY yeast in it in their homes. Anyone who ate anything that contained yeast during that week was to be cut off from their people. (shunned/ ostracized).
Yeast was used by God to symbolize the power of sin
When Israel offered bread to God along with burnt offerings, that bread was to have NO yeast in it.
When Jesus warned his disciples against becoming like the Pharisees, He told them "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Luke 12:1
And when the Church at Corinth had a man in their congregation who was engaged in sexual immorality, Paul wrote that they should not associate with the man until he repented… they were not even to eat with the man. He said, if they insisted on “looking the other way”, that man’s sin would taint the rest of them: “Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?” 1 Corinthians 5:6
So, as you can see, yeast was used by God to portray sin in our lives.
II. But as I was preparing for this sermon, I asked myself the question: why would God use yeast to symbolize sin?
(picture of a loaf of bread and a matzah bread)
The large loaf in this picture has yeast… that’s what makes it rise and puff up.
The large cracker, or Matzah bread, has no yeast and so it is flatter.
Sin acts in our lives, in many of the same ways that Yeast works in a loaf of bread
1st – bread with yeast in it tastes good
I’ve eaten Matzah bread. It’s not all that tasty.
That’s why we make bread with yeast in it. Leavened bread does taste good. That’s why we buy it… that’s why we eat it.
Likewise, sin tastes good… if it didn’t taste good, nobody would be tempted to do it.