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Summary: God is serious when He says, “Be holy even as I am holy” (I Peter 1:16); He IS holy, and He calls us to holiness, as illustrated by the Feast of Matzo.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread (HaMatzah)

(Leviticus 23: 6-8)

1. Whenever we address the Levitical Feasts, we are on Jewish ground.

2. So what better way to start today’s sermon than with a great Jewish joke:

The Cohen Brothers & Mr. Ford

It was a sweltering August day when all three Cohen brothers entered the posh Dearborn, Michigan, offices of Henry Ford, the car maker, "Mr. Ford," announced Norman Cohen, the eldest of the three. "We have a remarkable invention that will revolutionize the automobile industry." Ford looked skeptical, but their threat to offer it to the competition kept his interest piqued. "We would like to demonstrate it to you in person."

After a little cajoling, they brought Mr. Ford outside and asked him to enter a black automobile parked in front of the building. Hyman Cohen, the middle brother, opened the door of the car. "Please step inside, Mr. Ford." "What!!!" shouted the tycoon, "Are you crazy? It must be two hundred degrees in that car!!" "It is," smiled the youngest brother, Max, "but sit down, Mr. Ford, and push the white button." Intrigued, Ford pushed the button. All of a sudden a whoosh of freezing air started blowing from vents

all around the car, and within seconds the automobile was not only comfortable, it was quite cool.

"This is amazing !" exclaimed Ford. "How much do you want for the patent?"

Norman spoke up, "The price is one million dollars." Then he paused. "And there is something else. The name ’Cohen Brothers Air-Conditioning’ must be stamped right next to the Ford logo!" Ford, an infamous anti-semite, retorted "Money is no problem, but there is no way I will have a Jewish name next to my logo on my cars!"

They haggled back and forth for a while and finally they settled. Five million dollars, but the Cohens’ last name would be left off However, the first names of the Cohen brothers would be forever emblazoned upon the console of every Ford air conditioning system. And that is why even today, whenever you enter a Ford vehicle, you will see those three names clearly printed on the air conditioning control panel:

NORM, HI and MAX. (source: www.haruth.com/Jhumor5)

3. Biblical Christianity is built upon Judaism, the faith of the Old Testament. In a sense, Christianity can be thought of as a completed Judaism. Because God inspired both Old and New Testaments, it should not surprise us to see patterns in the Old Testament that focus upon the focal point of history, the work of Jesus Christ.

Feast #1: Passover, Christ died for our Sins

we are here -----?Feast #2: Unleavened Bread: The Holy Messiah, pierced for our sins,

died to make US holy

Main idea: God is serious when He says, “Be holy even as I am holy” (I Peter 1:16); He IS holy, and He calls us to holiness, as illustrated by the Feast of Matzo.

I. Leaven Symbolizes SIN

1. Leaven was FORBIDDEN in sacrifices

Exodus 23:18 "Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast…”

Leviticus 2:11 " ’Every grain offering you bring to the LORD must be made without yeast…”

• Yet leaven was allowed in sacrifices PEOPLE would eat

• Principle: God anticipates that His people will sin in DAILY life

2. Leaven refers to sinful teachings that PERMEATE our lives

Matthew 6: 6“’Be careful,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’”

Matthew 6: 11 “’How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

In Jewish tradition, according to the Talmud, leaven represents “the evil impulse of the heart” (Talmud, Berachot, 17a).

Main idea: God is serious when He says, “Be holy even as I am holy” (I Peter 1:16); He IS holy, and He calls us to holiness, as illustrated by the Feast of Matzo.

II. The Bread Itself Represents JESUS

1. His purity and His BODY (I Peter 1:18-19, Matt. 26:26)

2. His PIERCING

Isaiah 53: 5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

3. A few weeks ago, a woman in our church asked me how far back the Jews pierced their Matzo….don’t know for sure, but probably from the beginning…

• Here’s some information from a mainstream Jewish web site: (http://www.ujc.org/content_display.html?ArticleID=75944)

As soon as the dough is the perfect texture, it is divided into equal portions and distributed to workers who roll it into thin circles. Both the rolling pins and the workers’ hands must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected in between each 18-minute round of baking….

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