This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. (12:14-15)
In chapter 12 of Exodus we come to a pivotal section between the announcement of the tenth plague in chapter 11 and its manifestation in chapter 12:29-30. It’s a section that is epic and filled with depth. Last time as we opened up chapter 12:1-13, we saw God institute the Lord’s Passover, giving specific commands as to what the Israelites were to do. The most significant aspect was that a lamb was to be slain, eaten, and its blood applied to the doorposts. This among other things, pointed to the faith the Israelite’s had that God that would save them from destruction, specifically the death of the firstborn using the means He ordained.
This Sunday we will consider another command from God having to do with unleavened bread in verses 14-20. In this text we find shadows of the Gospel, just like we saw with the objects that were to be used in the Passover; especially the lamb, which ultimately points to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ who would not merely save the physical life of the first born, but eternally save the elect from every nation from eternal judgment. The lamb was a type – temporal salvation from death; Jesus is the anti-type – a greater spiritual eternal salvation of Jew and Gentile. In our text we see something similar in the bread, both leavened and unleavened. Initially the unleavened bread simply points to the haste with which they were to leave Egypt, as there would be no time to prepare leavened bread. But the deeper symbolic meaning is that the yeast or leaven points to sin in our lives. So, once saved from destruction, the Israelites were to be sanctified, that is, to put away sin embodied in leaven. There is an analogy in the New Testament, as those saved eternally by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, are called to purge out the leaven of sin (1 Cor 5:7).