Updated: Apr 3
Scriptural References: Exodus 12:8-51, 13:3-10, 23:14-19; Leviticus 23:4-8, Numbers 33:3,
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is called Matzah in Hebrew. It is celebrated in the spring and is the 2nd Appointed Time of the Spring Feasts. Unleavened Bread is a Chag. This means that it is a Festival and one of the three times a year when all males, age 13 and over, were to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; the other two times being Pentecost (Shavuot) and Tabernacles (Sukkot).
Unleavened Bread cannot be understood without first having an understanding of Passover. Although, all of the Spring Feasts are often times referred to as Passover, Passover was actually just a one day event. Unleavened Bread started the day after Passover and was a 7 day Festival.
The Passover lamb was slaughtered on the 14th day of the first month. On Yahweh's calendar, a day is from sunset to sunset so when a day begins it is dark. As stated above, Unleavened Bread took place on the 15th of the month and was celebrated for 7 days. (15th-21st)
As described in scripture, the Passover lamb was eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs after the sun went down on the 14th. The first day of Unleavened Bread was a high Sabbath. Therefore, no work could be done on the first day of Unleavened Bread. The 7th day of Unleavened Bread was also a Sabbath.
The Israelites were to eat the meal in haste and with their things ready to leave immediately. During this night Yahweh's Pass Over was to take place. The bread was unleavened because it did not have time to rise. Yahweh would tell them to arise and leave with haste.
They left Egypt in the middle of the night on the 15th, as recorded in scripture. This night was to be remembered forever and always as the day that Yahweh delivered them out of Egyptian bondage and redeemed the first born of Israel.
We should understand that Yeshua as the Messiah has to fulfill (bring to its highest level of correct understanding) all of the Appointed Times of Yahweh. The completion of Yeshua's burial would have happened just as the sun was setting on the 14th and the date changing to the 15th of the month. Since the 15th is a High Sabbath, the scriptures record that they were hurrying to complete His burial prior to the beginning of the Feast.
As leaven represents sin, the Israelites were instructed to remove all leaven from their homes prior to the beginning of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
What is the relevance of Unleavened Bread for the believer in Yeshua today? Well, leaven represents sin. Our spotless lamb, Yeshua, had no sin. He was broken and bruised for us. His blood covers us so that judgment will pass over us. Followers of Yeshua are to have no “sin” in their lives. We need to clean out our lives of all of the leaven.
The Apostles kept the Festival of Unleavened Bread. I Corinthians 5:8 is a witness that this letter of Paul was written during the time of this Festival. Also, in Acts 20:6 we find the Apostle Paul
mentioning the Feast again. Notice, in the same chapter of Acts, verse 16, the Apostle Paul mentions that he is hurrying so that he can be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost (Shavuot). Shavuot was also a Festival where all males, age 13 an over, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.