Passover begins on April 19 by the Gentile calendar, actually April 18, 2011 at sunset on what is the 15th day of Nisan this year... I'm gonna talk about Leavening not the Passover so hang in there.
The Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the slaughter of the first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term "passover". In the old Hewbrew "Pesach".
As His people were told to ready their selves quickly and leave quickly there was no time for leavening the bread or to bake so the families made all the bread unleavened and fried it to have it ready as quickly as possible. In commemoration of the Passover Holy Day and the rush to leave there are two festivals incorporated together. The Passover for 7 days, and on the second day the beginning of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread for 7 days. During Passover it is remembered that freedom was given to the Israelites by God, that they were saved by God, protected by Him and fed for seven days as they escaped by His guidance and command to prepare the unleavened bread, enough for 7 days. Nothing was by "self". A reminder to be unleavened and remember who's hands they were saved by.
As God commanded in Leviticus 23:5-8, so His people continue to commemorate the sacred occasion. Many Gentiles of various religions now remember the Passover also, it is no longer considered only a Jewish Holy Day, but a Christian Holy Day.
5) In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the Lord, 6) And on the fifteenth day of that month,The Lord's Feast of Unleavened Bread. You shall eat unleavened bread for seven days. 7) On the first day you shall celebrate a sacred occasion: You shall not work at your occupations. 8) Seven days you shall make offerings by fire to the Lord. The seventh day shall be a sacred occasion: You shall not work at your occupation.
So pretty much everyone thinks unleavened bread must be horrible but it is not, just a few facts:
I make unleavened bread myself and like it. Did you know that leavened bread turns your body into a petri dish for bacteria? Or that leavened bread lasts about a week, unleavened can last up to a month. That's puts new meaning into the term "baking day", being once a month instead of once a week.
Unleavened means to bake or prepare anything without Chametz, (any substance that has already been fermented or will bring about a process of fermentation, ex's: yeast, alcoholic beverages, high fructose corn syrup...). However, agents that work by way of a instant chemical reaction ex's.: baking powder, baking soda, boiling water (which I use)... not Chametz, no fermentation, and are acceptable. A few Jewish communities do not distinguish a difference and the use of neither is acceptable, but for most it is about the Chametz.
Yeah, unleavened bread sounds better already doesn't it! But I want to talk about an unleavened spiritual life.
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.
Paul wrote the letters to the Corinthians pointing out to them changes (repentance) that needed to take place in their lives. As Christians our lives are suppose to change and our testimony should be so obvious that a verbal statement should not be necessary, our actions should be evidence to people that we follow Christ. The Corinthians were living in immorality and a lack of unity. False pride, sexual immorality, their misunderstanding of the message, incest, a list of things that they did not change as Christian's, things they continued to do and that the Church allowed. They were depending on human wisdom not Godly wisdom so they were "puffed up", bloated, risen (leavened) with self, with arrogance and were not following Christ's teachings.
It is easy to be "leavened" (puffed up) with "self", it takes real work not to be. But that's what repentance is, making changes that are conducive to a Christians life, a life following Christ by His teachings and examples.
As we begin these Christian Holy Days, Palm Sunday April 17, the Passover beginning April 18, the Festival of Unleavened bread beginning April 19 and then Easter April 24th. With our focus on The Word, feeling, praising, teaching and sharing with others "May we all be spiritually unleavened".
Amen Adon Olam, Amen אמן