We continue our series from D.Dalton.
Reading: 1 Cor 5 v 7, Gal 5 v 9, Mark 8 v 15, Matthew 16 v 6
A Continuation from Passover
We noted in the introduction the difference between the One Day feasts and the Seven Day feasts. Passover was a One Day feast and speaks of a once for all act – Christ’s death upon the cross – that is the ground of our redemption.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread immediately follows Passover and is a Seven Day Feast. This speaks of our continuing response to what God has done for us through Christ. At the cross we came to know our sins forgiven and our hearts cleansed. The only right response is to want to continue to live practically in the good of this.
A Clearing out of the Leaven
Leaven throughout Scripture always represents sin and that which is evil. Both passages in our reading make this clear, but they are both refer to slightly different aspects of sin. Before we look into these passages, the main point of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was that the Israelite person was to remove every speck of leaven from their homes, and to eat only unleavened bread. The meaning is clear. As believers, redeemed by the blood of Christ, we must daily, put out of our lives every vestige of sin, and to keep ourselves holy and pure.
Now, when we come to Corinth, the problem, sadly, among the believers was a toleration of fornication – moral evil. Indeed, they were even glorying in it. That’s what yeast does: just a little puffs it up! And when it comes to our sin, if we don’t deal with it ruthlessly, it will have the same effect in our hearts, and among us, puffing us up in pride and arrogance.
In Galatians however, the problem is not moral but doctrinal evil. The Christians there were adding works/law to faith/grace. The result of this if left, would lead to works righteousness, pride and empty religion. Therefore the command is given to ‘Purge out the leaven‘. We must be ruthless with all evil, and have nothing to do with it.
Purge out therefore the old leaven
Earlier in the Gospels, the Lord Jesus spoke of ‘the leaven of Herod‘ – political evil – the ‘leaven of the Pharisees‘ – religious evil – and the ‘leaven of the Sadducees‘ – philosophical evil. Regarding these, Jesus warned his disciples to ‘beware’, and in our day nothing has changed.
We too must beware of getting taken up with political, religious or philosophical ideas, and diverted from the simplicity of the Gospel of the grace of God. For so often, with these ideas subtly comes an attitude of malice towards those of other opinions.
‘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.’
Take in the unleavened bread of sincerity & truth. By this, Paul means that when my life is exposed to the searchlight of God’s holiness, through His Word, it humbles us to appreciate who and what we really are, and we will act in a way commensurate with this attitude to the glory of Christ.