What does bread have to do with Sin?

how-much-do-you-know-feast-unleavened-bread.jpg.crop_displayThe recent “Holy Week” has roots in the Old Testament Passover. In their rush to leave Egypt, the Israelites didn’t have time to leaven the bread that they ate with their Passover meal. As a reminder of their exodus from Egypt, God commanded; “You must eat unleavened bread for seven days” (Exodus 12:15). God further instructed; “You are to observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread . . . throughout your generations as a permanent statute” (v. 17).

 

The Jews came to refer to these annual Sabbaths as “High Days” (John 19:31, KJV). But they didn’t understand that their unleavened bread represented the promised Savior—the “bread from heaven.”  Since the Bible sometimes uses leaven as a symbol of sin, the unleavened bread was a symbol of the sinless Messiah.

 

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians he admonished – “Don’t you know that a little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8)?  He used fermenting yeast to illustrate how one sin leads to another in a snowballing effect.

Unfortunately, many people seem to be unaware of the compounding effects of sin. For instance, few users of illegal drugs seem to understand that their behavior helps support the evil practices of large international drug cartels.

 

Similarly, “The Huffington Post” recently reported that there are an estimated 21 million people currently trafficked around the world—many of them children from Eastern Europe and Asia. It is a 32 billion dollar industry whose major sources of revenue are prostitution and pornography. I wonder how many users of pornography recognize how their behavior contributes to international human trafficking and related child abuse.

 

The examples I’ve mentioned illustrate Romans Principle 3, Sin’s Devastating Results, in my Life Essentials Study Bible (p. 1535).  I explain how sin, like leaven in a batch of dough, becomes “pervasive throughout the entire culture as each generation declines even more.”

 

In the New Testament we learn that Jesus introduced new symbols to commemorate the meaning of the Passover—broken bread and wine. The church quickly came to associate the bread and cup with a time of self examination (1 Corinthians 11:26-28).   In the same way, I encourage you to consider the damaging effects of sin in your life as you look to God for the help you need.

10 Comments on “What does bread have to do with Sin?”

  1. Where in the Old Testament is leaven seen as sin? I do realize that leavened bread was not to be eaten during the Days of Unleavened Bread. According to Leviticus 23, it is simply a command not to eat leavened bread. If leavened symbolizes sin, then it was okay after the Days of Unleavened Bread to go back to eating leavened sinful bread?
    That is why (with all sincerity and respect) I ask where is leavening symbolizing sin in the Old Test?

    1. Rachel,

      Unleavened bread in the Old Testament was used symbolically in certain offerings.
      It originated when the children of Israel left Egypt, practically speaking because they had to rush. It then became a symbol of their separation from all sin that was so prevalent in Egypt.

      This is not mean that using leaven normally was sinful. It was considered God’s good gift just as any other food blessing from God.

      Because Jesus used unleavened bread in His final Passover meal, some churches believe we should always use unleavened bread in Communion. I respectfully disagree. We can use any food substance to represent the broken body of Jesus Christ.

      I do trust this helps.
      Gene

    1. Julia,
      Unleavened bread in the Old Testament was used symbolically in certain offerings. It originated when the children of Israel left Egypt, practically speaking because they had to rush. It then became a symbol of their separation from all sin that was so prevalent in Egypt.

      This is not mean that using leaven normally was sinful. It was considered God’s good gift just as any other food blessing from God.

      Because Jesus used unleavened bread in His final Passover meal, some churches believe we should always use unleavened bread in Communion. I respectfully disagree. We can use any food substance to represent the broken body of Jesus Christ.

      I do trust this helps.
      Gene

  2. Hi! Just wanted to clarify as yeast sometimes was also used to ferment grapes into wine. Wine symobolises Christ’s cleansing blood. Could someone help clarify on that pls! Thanks◡̈

    1. Nick,you are correct yeast was used in wine which converted into sugars present grape must changed wine into alcohol. It is through this process of fermentation that ethanol is released by yeast cells as a waste product. When people consume wine with alcohol after a certain amount they become “wasted” also they go into a confused state of mind that allows spirits to take over hints for the word “SPIRITS” on a lot of beer stores. Which is not of the Lord see what Jesus did in the wedding of Cana is he showed a representation of the cleansing of sins that no longer would they uses water as a way to be cleansed but the blood of Jesus which is why he chose the cleansing jars but again the world shows the use of Yeast to be a representation of sin by using that same symbol and adding alcohol to it.

  3. Dear Friends
    Shalom. Deeply delighted to look at our focus on the Leavened and unleavened. Let me share my views, the center of the leavening is the yeast. Role of Yeast in baking and in wine is different. Let us look at the Old Testament scenario, it is at Pesah (Passover) that an unleavened bread is preparation for the Journey to Canaan through wilderness.
    In the current context , how prepared are we towards Canaan(Kingdom of God) as we walk through wilderness (Earthly living) avoiding yeast ( Our nature of inclination to sin) (Which has been already defeated at the Cross by Our Savior Jesus Christ) .
    Humble submission

  4. As a believer in Christ Jesus, the Promised Messiah, our Passover Lamb, who willingly offered His Life for us on the Cross, we enter a state of purity, holiness, and cleanness [the Apostle Paul says: you are unleavened ( 1 Cor. 5:7)] as symbolized by the Days of Unleavened Bread. We are to maintain that Unleavened state with the assistance of the Holy Spirit for 7 days [7 symbolizing completeness and totality, all our life]. We enter the Days of Unleavened Bread in a state of holiness as pictured by the first holy day and we end it in a holy state as pictured by the holy 7th day. We are always, [not just for one week, but 24/7 all year long, but always] to be in a state of holiness before the Lord God. The Feasts and Holy Days of Lev. 23 foreshadow the Messiah who is the Reality, and He fulfilled them all at the Cross. God wants a Holy People: Be Holy because I Am Holy. [1 Peter 1:16]

  5. As it is said in Matt 13:33 the yeast usually symbolizes evil or unclean ( see Mark 8:15 ) Here however it is a symbol of growth As yeast permeates a batch of dough so the Kingdom of Heaven spreads through a persons life Or it may signify the growth of the Kingdom by the inner working of the Holy Spirit ( using God’s word See Luke 13:21

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