Leavened bread has yeast in it to make it rise. Unleavened bread does not have any yeast in it. There is much about leavened and unleavened bread in Exodus 12. In this chapter we read about the Passover followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Passover got its name from the Lord PASSING OVER every home that had the blood of a spotless lamb on the doorposts and lintel, thus sparing the life of the firstborn in that home.  Let us read Exodus 12:5-8. “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with UNLEAVENED BREAD and bitter herbs” (NASB).

Let us also read Exodus 12:15-17. “Seven days you shall eat UNLEAVENED BREAD, but on the first day you shall remove LEAVEN from your houses; for whoever eats anything LEAVENED from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. You shall also observe the Feast of UNLEAVENED BREAD, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance” (NASB).

LEAVEN is a picture of evil in the Bible. We see this in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 where the Apostle Paul is telling the church at Corinth to put a man out of fellowship who was involved in sexual immorality. Paul says in these verses, ”Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little LEAVEN LEAVENS the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old LEAVEN so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact UNLEAVENED. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us 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). Just as yeast permeates dough to make bread rise, so evil permeates a group of believers to defile them.

The Lord Jesus spoke about this subject during his earthly ministry. We read in Luke 12:1, “Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, ‘Beware of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy’” (NASB). Hypocrisy is pretending to be something that you are not, which is a form of evil. In this case, the Pharisees were pretending to be godly, when actually they were against Christ.

Every believer has an old nature that is drawn toward sin and wants to gratify the desires of the flesh. However, we also have a new nature that wants to please the Lord and reject evil. The Lord’s desire for us is: “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). As we focus on Christ’s love for us, read the Scriptures, and pray, the Lord will give us a desire to “please Him” (2 Timothy 2:4). This is the path of true blessing. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).  (DJ)  (522.1)