Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 12:14-16 (NIV)
“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do.
Exodus 12:14-16 (MSG)
“This will be a memorial day for you; you will celebrate it as a festival to God down through the generations, a fixed festival celebration to be observed always. You will eat unraised bread (matzoth) for seven days: On the first day get rid of all yeast from your houses—anyone who eats anything with yeast from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off from Israel. The first and the seventh days are set aside as holy; do no work on those days. Only what you have to do for meals; each person can do that.
“‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as an ordinance forever. [In the celebration of the Passover in future years,] seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove the leaven from your houses [because it represents the spread of sin]; for whoever eats leavened bread on the first day through the seventh day, that person shall be cut off and excluded from [the atonement made for] Israel. On the first day [of the feast] you shall have a holy and solemn assembly, and on the seventh day there shall be another holy and solemn assembly; no work of any kind shall be done on those days, except for the preparation of food which every person must eat—only that may be done by you.” -AMPLIFIED
God lays out the instructions for the children of Israel on how, when and why they will celebrate the Passover feast in this passage of Exodus 12:14-20.
The “How” was as follows: “On the first day [of the feast] you shall have a holy and solemn assembly, and on the seventh day there shall be another holy and solemn assembly; no work of any kind shall be done on those days, except for the preparation of food which every person must eat—only that may be done by you.”
The “When” is also indicated: “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, [and continue] until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.” -Exodus 12:18 (AMP)
The “Why” is described as, “You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because on this very day I brought your hosts [grouped according to tribal armies] out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an ordinance forever.” -Exodus 12:17 (AMP)
God was very adamant about the need to remove leavening from their homes. There was a two-fold reason for this:
1. The people needed to be ready to move in haste; they would be unable to make their normal bread for the coming journey quickly. They would also continue to eat the unleavened bread as a reminder of how God had delivered them from the land of Egypt.
2. Leavening was a symbol of sin, impurities, and corruption. Leavening would spread through dough much like sin could spread through people and Jesus pointed this fact out quite often.
The Apostle Peter reminds us of the need to live holy, sinless lives. “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” -1 Peter 1:13-16 (NIV)
May our fervent prayer be as David’s was; “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” -Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
Lord, remind me of the need to live a holy, sinless life before you. I know I need to be obedient to you and your desires for me in my life. I see the importance of taking an accounting from time to time; just to do a spiritual checkup. Allow your Holy Spirit to search my heart and test me; to see if there is any offensive ways in me. Then help me to ask your forgiveness and change what has been revealed to me. My deepest desire is to be pleasing to you, dear Lord.