Thought for Thursday

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord. Seven days must ye eat unleavened bread. Leviticus 23:6

Unleavened bread – or matzo – is flat, because it contains no leavening agent to cause it to rise when it is cooking. The matzo used for the Jewish Passover is also frequently marked by small holes from a fork or other kitchen tool, so the bread will lie flat when cooking. I have sometimes wished that when the Lord’s Supper is held in our Assemblies, that we would use unleavened bread. No, I am not advocating that we adopt the practice because it might very well become a point of legalism, as it has in some of the denominations. But unleavened bread provides some visual and practical lessons that we can benefit from. For example, as a picture of the life of Christ, we appreciate that He was without the leaven of sin. We also appreciate that he was pierced for – and by – us. Unleavened bread also speaks of the life of the Christian.

As Christians, we hang our heads in shame at the knowledge that our lives are not without the leaven of sin. We are painfully aware that we are only sinners who are saved by grace. And yet, God does not view us as sinners. I John 1:9 tells us that we have been cleansed from all unrighteousness. All of our stumblings and strayings speak about our condition while still in the flesh, but the reality is that before God, we are holy and pure in our eternal standing. God does not view us in the leaven of sin, but washed in the blood of the Lamb. Furthermore, each Christian has the presence of the Holy Spirit within. This enables us to desire, as the unsaved can never desire, to live according to the holy pattern set for us by our Lord. We will never attain the sinlessness that we seek, but our seeking will bring us closer.

When we compare unleavened and leavened bread, the most obvious difference is that the unleavened bread does not rise, but remains flat and as thin as when it was rolled out. The leavened bread rises, lifting itself up to sometimes several times its original volume. What a picture of pride this is! Pride was the original sin of Satan, and the sin with which he stumbled our first parents in Eden. In most cases, pride is the sin that prevents people from taking an interest in the Gospel. Pride is the sin of religion and good works. There is no place in the life of an obedient Christian for pride and self.

While we live in wait for our Lord’s return, we eat the unleavened bread of humility and service to our Lord. – Jim MacIntosh

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