The Feast of Unleavened Bread
Hag HaMatzot, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is a week spent without leaven in our lives.
It is observed in the spring of the year, immediately follows Pesach/Passover, and lasts for seven days.
Hag HaMatzot – The Feast of Unleavened Bread
The theme of this festival/feast is freedom. Freedom from bondage in Mitzrayim/Egypt/the world and freedom from the penalties of sin are celebrated.
The bread eaten during this time is called Matzah which is where this Holy Festival gets its name.
Matzah or Matzot is a flat bread made without adding leavening which would be yeast or baking powder… any substance that makes the bread rise. It is also called the "bread of affliction.".
During this festival we remember how, during the Exodus, the Israelites left Mitzrayim/Egypt in haste with their kneading troughs on their backs. Due to the haste of their departure their unbaked bread would not have had time to rise.
Homemade Matzah Recipe:
The Hebrew word used for leavening in Scripture is Chametz. It literally means ‘sour’. It is that essence by which things decay. It is a fermentation process – a process of death.
Leaven in Scripture is usually a symbol of sin; the unleavened Matzot graphically portrays the pure and sinless Messiah. It is pierced, even as our L-rd was pierced by the nails in His hands and feet and the Roman spear in his side. The Matzot is striped in the baking, reminding us that Isaiah said,
Sin too, is a process of death and decay. Through sin death came into the world and through sin our spirits decay. Yeshua, through paying the price for us – redeeming us – did away with the lasting effects of Chametz. This festival celebrates this freedom from sin’s effects.
"For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your
Holy One to see corruption."
Tehillim (Psalms 16:10)
The weeks leading up to Hag HaMatzot are a time of cleansing. As we physically clean our homes of Chametz/leavening, we spiritually clean ourselves seeking out the sin which should be removed from our lives.
Some have suggested that Paul’s use of ‘old leaven’ might refer to the Jewish traditions. Thus, we would need to celebrate Passover only in the Lord’s Supper, not as the Jews do for that would be “old leaven.”
But this idea is wrong, and for two reasons. First: leaven refers to moral corruption, not traditional observance for Yeshua himself celebrated Passover according to the customs of the day, and He certainly never sinned. Secondly: “old” in the Greek is the same word as in Ephesians 4:22, “in reference to your former manner of life”.
"That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…"
Ephesians 4:22 (NKJV)
"Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [Him,] that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin."
Romans 6:6 (NKJV)
So when we are told to clean out the old leaven, it’s that we are to clean out the old sin from our lives. We have celebrated Passover, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ paying for our sins — judgment has passed over us. Now is the time to have no leaven in the house — no old sin in our lives. When we find leaven, we’re to throw it out — there shouldn’t be any leaven found in our houses, no old sin found in our lives.
You Mean, We Gotta?
Am I saying that, Biblically, all believers are required to celebrate the Feasts in a traditional Jewish style? No! We are certainly free in Yeshua/Jesus.
"So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ."
Colossians 2:16 (NKJV)
I am saying that, Biblically, celebrating the Feasts of the Lord is (should be!) normative for followers of Messiah. It gives insight on the spiritual truths of the Scriptures and is a healthy reminder to live pleasing to the Lord. Those New Covenant believers and congregations that do choose to celebrate the Feasts and study their Jewish roots discover great truths and blessings. They more clearly recognize God’s faithfulness and that “they do not support the root, but the root supports them.” (Rom. 11:18)
"Do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, [remember that] you do not support the root, but the root supports you."
Romans 11:18 (NKJV)
Shalom and Blessings
Reference: Word of Messiah Ministries
NOTE FROM KAY: "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" (1Cor 5:6)
Have you ever heard the phrase, "One rotten apple spoils the whole bunch?" The decay on one apple quickly spreads to the rest unless that one rotten apple is removed. It only takes a small amount of leaven to cause a whole loaf of bread to rise.
We can’t stop at removing the big sins from our lives. We must concentrate on removing them all. Also, hanging around a "rotten" person rubs off on us. If we allow small sins then we just may eventually allow the large ones. Examine your life in the light of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.