Whole meal and Holy lives – 1 Corinthians 5
“Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:8 NIV11)
During the first Passover when God’s people were in Egypt he asked them to get rid of the yeast in their houses as part of the preparation. You can find the details of the Lord’s plans for delivering His people and their need to get rid of the yeast in Exodus 12:1-20.
Why yeast? Honestly, it’s not really clear to me.
Ultimately it would prove useful in a practical sense because they wouldn’t have time to wait for the bread to rise on the night they fled (Exodus 12:39). I suspect it’s because bread was at the heart of the home and of provision. “Give us today our daily bread,” is a petition in the Lord’s Prayer because it orientates us to God’s role in providing for us daily. Maybe making a change to the way bread was prepared was a reminder to refocus on God.
There’s one more reason that Paul calls yeast and bread to mind as he talks about sexual immorality here in 1 Corinthians 5. He puts it like this:
“Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:6–7)
Wrong behaviour permeates the group just like yeast into dough. We need to be at pains to clear the ‘house’ of our lives of the ‘old yeast’ of our former way of life. That’s good for our lives and good for the wider church community of which we are a part. And why do that? Ultimately it’s because the sacrifice of Jesus (our final and complete Passover lamb) won us at great cost into a life of service and holiness. We are to live new lives that leave behind the malice and wickedness of what we used to be and exchange it for sincerity and truth.
“Dear Heavenly Father, we see you as the provider of our daily needs and much more than that, as the Saviour of our souls. We repent of our sin. We turn to you and ask you to make us new from the inside out by Your Holy Spirit. Clean our house we pray, and make us a new batch fit for your purposes filled with whole meal of sincerity and truth. Amen.”
Grace and peace,