Lev 23:4-6 These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. In the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight [is] the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month [is] the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
In this scripture Yahweh is telling the children of Israel about two of the spring feasts: Passover and Unleavened Bread. On the fifteenth day of the first month He instructs them to eat unleavened bread for seven days.
Exod 12:15-20 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
The children of Israel were to keep the leaven out of their homes for seven days. The process of cleaning the leaven out of the home usually begins one or two weeks before the feast of Unleavened Bread begins. The home is meticulously cleaned, and all traces of bread with leaven are removed. This process of removing the leaven always happens in the spring, right before Passover. In the process of cleaning out all the leaven products, the women gives the whole house a deep cleaning, from which comes the tradition we now call “Spring Cleaning.”
Another interesting tradition that comes from this process of cleaning the leaven from the home is Bedikot Chamets. Bedikot Chamets means the search for the leaven. This “search for the leaven” evolved into an event that the whole family would participate in the day before Passover. Four items are needed for the custom Bedikot Chamets.
ï Wooden Spoon
ï White Napkin
This tradition involves all members of the family. Traditionally the woman of the home cleans all the leaven products out of the home. On the day before Passover, in the evening, she will hide some crumbs of leaven in the home. The “hidden” leaven is placed in a spot eye level with the children, so it is easy to find. The Father will turn all the lights off. He will then light the candle and go, from room to room with the children, looking for the “hidden” crumbs of leaven. When the crumbs are spotted by the children, the Father will take the feather and gently sweep them into the wooden spoon. He will then wrap the spoon in the white cloth and remove the spoon and leaven from the home.
New Covenant believers can learn a lot from this traditional family ceremony. The true leaven that needs to be removed is the leaven in our hearts. Leaven is a picture of sin. The word of God is the light that we search the “rooms” of our heart with. The “hidden” crumbs of leaven are hidden areas of sin we need to remove from our life. Paul writes about this very thing in first Corinthians.
1Cr 5:2 & 6-8 And you are puffed up, Your glorying is not good. Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you 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 is writing to the “New Testament” believers during the years shortly after Yeshua ascended. He instructed them to “keep the feast.” Paul is teaching “Christians” to keep the feast. While literally keeping the feast, he instructs them to focus on the leaven in the heart, which is sin. Paul makes no distinction between Jew and Gentile; they are one people whom he calls the Israel of God. This agrees with what Moses teaches in Numbers.
Num 15:14-16 For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to Yahweh, he must do exactly as you do. The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: The same laws (i.e., Torah) and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.
Bible Tradition vs Traditions of Men
There is an intense battle going on to hinder these Bible traditions from being done by Christians. Whereas man made and pagan traditions are accepted, encouraged and practiced inside the walls of Churches and Christian homes. For centuries people have used the writings of Paul to teach that Christians are not to keep the seventh day Sabbath and the Feasts. Here is what Peter writes about Paul.
2 Pe 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
The Word Wrest
ï To twist, or pervert, one who wrests or tortures language in a false sense
Many things are said about Paul, his teachings and his writings that are twisted by men. Peter writes saying, these men who twist Paul’s writings are unlearned and unstable. Unlearned in what?
ï In the Torah, the teaching and instructions of Yahweh.
Peter also writes saying, some things Paul writes are “hard to understand.” To properly place Paul and his writing in context, one must understand he does not contradict Torah. Likewise, in order to have Paul’s teaching line up with what Yeshua teaches in Matthew 5:17-20, one must understand the Torah, the Sabbath and the Feasts were not “done away with,” at the cross.
Paul Teaches Traditions
2Th 3:6 Now we command you brothers, in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and does not follow the tradition which he received from us.
The Word Tradition
ï G3862 παράδοσις paradosis
ï Instructions written or given orally, Jewish traditional laws (i.e., Torah)
Paul teaches the Jewish traditional laws in the New Testament which means he was a Torah teacher as well as evangelist. He would have taught people to clean out the leaven from their homes for seven days. Paul was teaching the oral traditions, what you are learning now about the days of Unleavened Bread:
ï Clean the leaven out of your homes and get ready to “keep the Feast”
ï Clean the leaven out of your heart, the old leaven which is sin
Leaven is a Picture of Sin
Leaven makes the bread rise. Leaven is a hidden influence that corrupts completely. Sin is an unseen force that has corrupted mankind completely. Leaven is alive. Leaven is a natural rising agent, a fermented mixture of water, flour and the microscopic yeasts which are present in the air. It’s a living, delicate substance, sensitive to the external environment. Likewise we are dust (flour), water and sin (leaven). Sin is alive.
ï Rom 7:17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
ï Rom 7:20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Leavened bread is called Chamets in Hebrew.
ï To sour or ruin
This word Chamets means to sour or ruin. Bread with leaven will spoil over time. Unleavened bread will not spoil it will just get stale.
חָמָס = Chamas
ï To cause violence
This word Chamas means to cause violence. These two words are related, they both begin with the same Hebrew letters (Chet and Mem) and have a similar definition. Chamas is defined as; to cause violence. Chamets is defined as; to spoil. To spoil and to cause violence have a similar connotation. It is not a coincidence that the terrorist organization that causes violence to Israelis and Christian Zionist is called Hamas.
Gen 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin (leaven) is crouching at your door (sin lies at the door) it desires to have you, but you must master it.
Sin is laying at the door to trap you, spoil you and cause violence to you. If the sin in the heart is not put in subjection to the will of Yeshua it will manifest into thoughts and actions that will cause your life to be ruined and spoiled. Sin, like leaven desires to take over the whole body, as Paul writes, “leaven the whole lump.” Therefore let us “keep the Feast” and literally clean the leaven out of our homes, but more importantly let us clean the leaven out of our hearts.
What would Jesus/Yeshua do?
He would keep the Feast.
Let me encourage you to try and keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in your home for seven days. Have fun and do what your Savior did when He walked the planet as a human. Moses to Elijah, Isaiah to John the Baptist, Yeshua to Peter, all of these men would have kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. Let us strive to follow their example and do as Paul writes “follow me as I follow Messiah.”