I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. ~ Revelation 22:13
Jesus is El Olam
Jesus is the Eternal, Everlasting God. He is the Beginning and the End. He obtained eternal redemption for those who believed and loved Him. He is the One who works His purposes throughout the Ages. He gives strength to the weary.
Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
Jesus was buried within hours of His death just as the Jews were beginning to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Christians are buried with Jesus by baptism into death. God required Israel to have an annual week of cleansing of their dwellings from all leaven to celebrate their separation from Egypt. God wants Christians to separate ourselves from sin and the work of the flesh so that we are pure and unleavened.
Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” ~ Matthew 16:6
Bread without yeast
On the night of Passover in Egypt, the Israelites were commanded to eat bread made without yeast. Yeast is a symbol of sin. As they left Egypt, they were commanded to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days by eating unleavened bread (bread with no yeast) for seven days. Jesus is that unleavened bread from heaven who is completely without sin.
The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! ~ John 1:29
Jesus, our Passover Lamb
Jesus was sinless and perfect. In His humanity, He was male and lived a meticulously examined life. He died publicly, and despite the brutality of His death, none of His bones were broken. The shedding of His blood was the sign of His death. Through His blood we are saved. Thus, in all respects, Jesus fulfilled this divine picture. He is the Passover Lamb who came to take away the sin of the world.
But with precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ; ~ 1 Peter 1:19
Quality of the Lamb
In Israel’s long history, and at the time of Jesus, the lamb chosen for sacrifice at the annual commemoration of Passover must be impeccable. It had to be without blemish, a male, pre-examined (four days from the selection to the sacrifice), slain in public, and none of its bones were to be broken. Jesus fulfilled the divinely ordained prophetic picture of this perfect lamb. Jesus is the Lamb of God.
The blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be on you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. ~ Exodus 12:13
Sign for the Israelite
Signs are visible, physical marks, which God uses to give a reminder, a miracle or symbol as a demonstration of His power. Healing is a sign, a miracle sign that demonstrates the healing power of God. The verb translated pass over, from which the Hebrew word Passover came means to “spare”, or “skip”. The judgment over Egypt was carried out personally by the living God. Jesus Christ is that person, the Son of Man, who came from heaven to save us from death.
Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
The Passover Lamb
To escape death in Egypt, the Israelites had to put the blood of the lamb on the door frame of the house. Only the blood of the lamb can save. This lamb is revealed to be Jesus. He is God’s Passover lamb. Trust and faith in Jesus not only enables us to live an abundantly rich life on earth, but it’s also the only way to eternal life.
Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, Rejoice! ~ Philippians 4:4
You can do it! It’s a choice. You can trade your pain and sorrow for rejoicing. You can choose to be thankful and delighted in all that Christ has done for you … or not. If you’re sitting in prison as the apostle Paul was, you can rejoice. Under pressure on the job? You can rejoice. Conflicts at home? You can still rejoice. As the Nike motto says – “Just do it’”
He prayed to Yahweh, and said, “Please, Yahweh, wasn’t this what I said when I was still in my own country? Therefore I hurried to flee to Tarshish, for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and you repent of the evil. ~ Jonah 4:2
Angry at God’s goodness?
Seems impossible, but the reason Jonah gave for being displeased, angry and running to Tarshish is the very core of God’s nature! It’s who He is. God had graciously given Jonah a second chance and he was happy about it; He also gave Ninevah a second chance and Jonah was furious about it. Jonah repented and was forgiven; Ninevah repented and they were forgiven. Have you ever been angry about God’s goodness and grace?
Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, ~ Hebrews 12:1
There’s nothing illegal about running The Standard Charter Marathon in two pairs of sweat pants, a loose coat, untied running shoes, a floppy hat, and a scarf or two. You could even fill your pockets with a few coins, some keys, phone, and a granola bar. But why would you? You’re there to run!! Maybe there are a few thtings we need to get rid of today to run the Christian “race” seriously too.
Looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled; ~ Hebrews 12:15
Dig it out.
Anyone who has taken Chinese herbal medicine knows something about bitter roots!! And if you’ve ever had a lawn, you know about the need to dig out the whole root of noxious weeds. The symbolism is simple: holding on to bitterness and resentment – i.e. holding a grudge – will destroy yourself and others. Don’t let it grow. Dig it out; destroy it.
Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz. ~ Ruth 2:1
In the remarkable little book of Ruth, an utterly tragic, bitter story of family loss got turned around through the divine intervention of a “man of standing” whose name meant “stability.” If Naomi and Ruth needed anything, it was an incredibly generous, observant, rock-solid person like Boaz. Perhaps your faith can provide life-saving stability for someone today.
You fathers, don’t provoke your children to wrath, but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ~ Ephesians 6:4
There must be another way
I’ve never heard a sermon on this verse. In fact, it may be the most overlooked verse in Bible. But it may also be even more important than the three preceding verses. Sometimes fathers control, bully, manipulate in ways that do not bring any change in behavior, but only serve to frustrate and anger his children. Paul makes it simple, “Don’t do it.”
Surely God is good to Israel,To those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone.My steps had nearly slipped. ~ Psalms 73:1-2
Almost missed it.
I wonder how often I’ve missed the incredible, consistent goodness of God when “looking the other way”, as Asaph put it. How often am I comparing myself, or envying someone else’s life, or complaining about the weather, or wishing something was different? As this Psalm closes, it’s clear the writer never wants to miss God’s goodness again.