We are in the midst of a very special season in Israel as we approach Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. One of the very special traditions that we have before Passover is the cleaning our homes from all of the leaven (yeast). This is to follow the command found in the book of Exodus 13:6-7:
“For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. “Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. ”
The tradition is that we do a deep cleaning of our homes, get rid of excess things we’ve accumulated over the year, clear out any foods with yeast, as well as switch out our dishes to special Passover dishes that have not touched any yeast or leaven. On the 14th day of Nissan, the eve of Passover, we search the house with flashlights or candles for any crumbs that might have leaven; children especially enjoy this little tradition! We search in every corner, every small hole, and see if we can find anything. We then burn whatever little crumbs of leaven we find.
My view on tradition is that it is good as long as it leads us to God and not away from Him. I find this tradition of cleaning our home something wonderful, which we can all learn from. Sadly, many of my people, the Jewish people, put their primary focus on the physical cleaning of their homes rather than on the spiritual cleaning of their hearts. As one labors in cleaning one’s literal home, one should also look at his spiritual home. This season is a wonderful opportunity to reexamine our lives, and to clean our lives from any “leaven”, i.e. sin.
Just as we clean the physical house from all leaven, so are we to clean our spiritual house; just as we look with flashlights or candles for all of the little crumbs and burn them, so are we to look at the dark hidden places of our lives, repent of them, and “burn” them away through the renewing of our mind. Remember that a little leaven (sin) leavens the whole lump of dough (Galatians 5:9).
As we are changing the physical dishes, and are using new dishes during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so we are to put off the “old” with its leaven and put on the new self, untainted with sin:
“Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover Lamb also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
My brothers and sisters, I am calling on us all to take this season to search our hearts with sincerity and truth, to rid our lives from all of the leaven, to repent, and return to God, not taking His grace for granted.
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