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Topic: The Feast of Unleavened Bread

A Break with the Past

by Darrel Cline

In 1 Corinthians 5:8 we read: "Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (NASB). This verse is a cornerstone for the study of the feasts of Israel as they relate to Christianity and its confidence that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. In these studies, we have already looked into the Feast of Passover. Now we are looking into the next feast: the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

In another study (040) we noted that the focus of Paul's instruction is upon celebrating the feast "not with old leaven". We noted that when a person comes to believe in the Passover Lamb, there is a need for a break with the past. This break with the past is fundamental to the gospel concerning Jesus Christ, for His message was that life comes only through death. He died, so we can live. But we also have to die "with Him" (see Romans 6:8-9).

There are two ways that we "die with Him". The first way is the way of faith. As we put our total confidence in Him, we become identified with Him in God's sight so that all that He did is attributed to us, while all that we did is attributed to Him (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). This is salvation by grace through faith. We reckon ourselves as dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11). To the degree that we reckon ourselves dead, we are. In other words, according to your faith, be it done unto you.

The other way that we "die with Him" is the way of literal death. When we die physically after having put our trust exclusively in Him, we put off this mortal flesh. But, because we have believed His promise of eternal life, we are immediately transported into His presence (2 Corinthians 5:6-8). In His presence we experience life beyond death. And ultimately we shall be resurrected bodily in order to fully enter into His life. In this case, life is ours to the degree that death has been our physical experience. In this case it is according to your experience, be it done unto you.

In any case, life comes only after death--the life of faith after dying by faith, and the life of resurrection after dying physically. This is the message of the Gospel of Christ.

But what has this to do with the Feast of Unleavened Bread?

This: that bread is the fundamental staff of life and we are to keep the feast with new bread. In other words, we are not to see life after faith in the Passover Lamb as simply a continuation of what we had before we believed. We are instead, to make a radical break (in our faith) with the past and begin to eat the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. This means that Jesus has established a totally new foundation for our life with and for God. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was designed to show us the necessity for the break with the past. In that sense it was a metaphor for death.

Have you died with Christ so that you may live with Him?

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This is article #041.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.