Picture of Godly Fellowship in Feast of Unleavened Bread

Time and Background of Feast of Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread started on the 15th day of the 1st month of the Jewish religious calendar. This would be later March or early April of the western calendar. This also gives a starting time one day after the Feast of Passover. The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted seven days. With Passover and the Feast of First Fruits it formed one of the 3 main festival times in the Jewish religious calendar. The instruction to have a "holy convocation" or holy meeting twice, both at the beginning and end of the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread, was one indication of the emphasis on godly fellowship of this festival. The instruction not to eat only unleavened bread during this festival was meant to call the people of Israel back to godly lives as leaven is always a picture of sin in the Bible - both in the Old and New Testaments. Leaven is a type of sin because it causes decay of the dough by the spreading yeast or leaven. The scripture about the time and some background about the Feast of Unleavened Bread is in Leviticus 23 as follows:

Time and Description of Feast of Unleavened Bread in Leviticus 23

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Leviticus 23:6-8

Historical Background and Meaning of Feast of Unleavened Bread

Part of the observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was for the Israelites to put leaven or yeast away from their houses. Leaven in the Bible always means sin or in this case worldliness probably especially the worldliness of Egypt from where the Jews were just about to leave for the Promised Land of Israel. In this case God's command to eat unleavened bread which might not taste as nice as leavened bread was for the Israelites to deny themselves some pleasures of the world and meet together with God and separate from the world and its pleasures symbolized by Egypt. Although Egypt offerred pleasures in its food etc to God's people the Jews it also sought to bring God's chosen earthly people the Jews into the bondage of its system. The feast of Unleavened Bread also marked a symbolic break from the bondage of the world/Egypt by God's chosen earthly people the Jews. The scripture passage giving the historical background of the original Feast of Unleavened Bread is found in Exodus 12 as follows:

Historical Background of the Feast of Unleavened Bread According to Exodus 12

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generation; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth unleavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 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. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread. Exodus 12:14-20

New Testament Application of Feast of Unleavened Bread to Godly Fellowship in the Church

There are two spiritual applications of the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Church in 1 Corinthians 5. The first application is to God's instructions to the Israelites to clean their houses of all leaven at the Feast of Unleavened Bread which also for them symbolized cleansing their houses and by extension the place of their living and relationships of all sin or ungodliness. This would allow them to have a closer relationship with God and with other people of God.

The second application was to God's instruction not to eat leavened bread but only unleavened bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This symbolized also for the Jewish people that God wanted them especially at that time to take in only godly things like His Word - the Holy Bible or spending time in fellowship with the people of God, in prayer or in praising God. This application is also given to the Church in 1 Corinthians 5 where Christians are instructed not to eat the old leaven that is associated with the leaven of malice and wickedness or sin but instead to eat unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. This mention of sincerity and truth refers both to godly fellowship with other people of God and with God Himself and in spending time in His Word - the Holy Bible. This scripture giving the New Testament spiritual application of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is found in 1 Corinthians 5 as follows:

New Testament(Covenant) Application of Feast of Unleavened Bread in 1 Corinthians 5

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 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. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

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