Bread of Heaven: Jesus in the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Part 1)

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Unleavened bread is a wonderful picture of Jesus the Messiah. The bread is without leaven, as He is without sin. It also is striped and pierced, as His body was beaten and pierced for our sins (Isa. 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24). In addition, the Feast of Unleavened Bread symbolizes Jesus’ burial. His body was placed in the grave but did not see corruption as He rose on the third day (see Psalm 16:10; Isa. 53:9; Matt. 27:57-60, 28:1-10) and carried our sins away (Psalm 103:12; Heb. 9:26).

Everyone should see Jesus in the Feast of Unleavened Bread because He fulfilled the feast’s Messianic symbols in the bread:

1. Provision (Jesus is the bread of life).

2. Propitiation (Jesus is the sacrifice who bore God’s wrath, and in so doing changed God’s wrath into favor with us).

3. Preservation (Jesus’ body did not suffer decay in the grave).

There are other symbolic markers in this feast:

Jesus referred to Himself as the bread of life (John 6:35) and chose the bread of the Passover to be the symbolic memorial of His broken body (Luke 22:19).

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means “house of bread.”

The Lord expects believers to put aside sin in our lives, as leaven is put aside during this feast (1 Cor. 5:7-8; see also Eph. 4:22-24 and Gal. 5:16-24).

The seven days speak of satisfaction or fullness; believers are completely satisfied in Christ.

In summary, Passover and Unleavened Bread together picture the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus – the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – and the burial of His body, which God the Father raised on the third day before it decayed. The resurrection, as we’ll see in two weeks, is pictured in the Feast of Firstfruits.

 Copyright 2008 by Rob Phillips