Remove the Leaven

 

אך ביום הראשׁון תשׁביתו שׂאר מבתיכם

It is common to use a Passover Haggadah, small booklet, for the teaching of the lesson. The Haggadah lists the order of the service and gives details of each item used.

Seder table set for Passover Bible study.
Seder table set for Passover Bible study.

The details of the Passover can best be seen by using the Bible as the authority.

The details of Passover and communion are seen in Exodus 12
The details of Passover and communion are seen in Exodus 12

 

The first item in preparation for the Passover is to make the area where it is to be held, most often the home, free of leaven, yeast. The Hebrew word for yeast is ras and bread baked with leaven is Umx Chametz.
Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
Exodus 12:15

Nwsarh Mwyb Ka wlkat twum Mymy tebs
Umx lka lk yk Mkytbm rav wtybst
Nsarh Mwym larvym awhh spnh htrknw
yebsh Mwy de

Torah Scroll written in Iraq in the 1800s on deerskin.Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses:
Torah Scroll written in Iraq in the 1800s on deerskin.Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses:

 

This is wheat dough rising with yeast. In the Hebrew Scripture this is called chametz, or the bread that is forbidden to use during Passover.
This is wheat dough rising with yeast. In the Hebrew Scripture this is called chametz, or the bread that is forbidden to use during Passover.

 

Leavened bread or Umx Chametz is a product that is both made from one of five types of grain (wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats), and has been combined with water and left to stand raw for longer than eighteen minutes at which time yeast begins to form on the grain. Many common types of grain products contain yeast.

Many common types of grain products contain yeast. These are forbidden for Passover
Many common types of grain products contain yeast. These are forbidden for Passover

 

Instructions for removing Chametz, leaven Feast of Passover
Instructions for removing Chametz, leaven Feast of Passover

Throughout the Scripture leaven is almost always a comparison to sin or something wrong. The reason for this is that the leavening agent is basically old fermented dough. A very small amount of fermented dough is placed with a larger batch of dough the whole lump becomes leavened.

The Scripture warns us of leaven:

No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire. Leviticus 2:11
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. Matthew 16:6
And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
Mark 8:15
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Galatians 5:9

It is interesting to note that in peace offerings and wave offerings God adds leaven to the bread as we shall see in the Feast of Weeks. This is because the ones making the offering are sinful and NOT themselves the sacrifice for sin.

Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven;
Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven;

 

ממושׁבתיכם תביאו לחם תנופה שׁתים שׁני עשׂרנים סלת תהיינה חמץ תאפינה בכורים ליהוה

For Passover many older Jewish communities clean the dishes, pots, and pans in a communal service making sure all leaven is removed.
For Passover many older Jewish communities clean the dishes, pots, and pans in a communal service making sure all leaven is removed.

 

Scalding water helps to remove chametz from cooking utensils

In Isreal you can always find services where large amounts of cooking utensils are cleaned for Passover.
In Isreal you can always find services where large amounts of cooking utensils are cleaned for Passover.

In Traditional Judaism there are vast amount of laws and traditions relating to the removal of leaven before the Passover can begin. In some homes a special set of dishes and cooking utensils are set aside and used only for the seven days of Passover.

To emphasize the carrying out of the commandment to remove all leaven from the home before Passover, many Jewish people will collect and take several pieces of Chametz, leavened bread, outside and burn it.

Rabbi Schneerson removing Chametz, leaven, from home before Passover
Rabbi Schneerson removing Chametz, leaven, from home before Passover

Jesus cleansed His Father’s house of leaven.

And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
John 2:13-16

 

Jesus cleaning His Father's house, the Temple in Jerusalem, for Passover
Jesus cleaning His Father’s house, the Temple in Jerusalem, for Passover

The “New Covenant” tells us that God’s law is written upon our hearts. We are clean from the inside not just whitewashed on the outside. The true person lives within the body and it is within ourselves that needs to have the leaven removed. The offering of the blood of The Messiah has forgiven us once for all time for our sin, but that does not give us permission to continue to sin.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Romans 6

Under the New Covenant, the Temple of God is a believer's heart. We need to clense our hearts.
Under the New Covenant, the Temple of God is a believer’s heart. We need to clense our hearts.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:7-10

Cup of Elijah

In the Haggadah, instructions are given to set a special place for a very special person. One would suppose that the most prominent person at the Passover would be the long awaited Messiah. However that is not the case in the teachings of the Rabbis. The last recorded Word of God that the Jews accept (they do not accept the New Testament) is the book of Malachi and the last few words in that book tell us that God would send Elijah “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” They think it is only reasonable to look for Elijah because they do not accept Jesus as The Messiah.

The book of Malachi is found in the Scroll of the 12 Prophets. There we find the prophecy that Elijah would come to Earth before the Messiah.
The book of Malachi is found in the Scroll of the 12 Prophets. There we find the prophecy that Elijah would come to Earth before the Messiah.

 

In a Jewish home, during the evening Passover Seder, near the end of the service, a small child will usually run to the front door and open it as if Elijah was waiting to come in. At the place set at the table for him a cup of the fruit of the vine is poured for him to drink.

Many passover haggadahs tell of the practice of opening the door to let Elijah enter the home for the Passover meal.
Many passover haggadahs tell of the practice of opening the door to let Elijah enter the home for the Passover meal.

There was a great man of God that ministered in Israel during the early years of Jesus’ life just before Jesus started His work. He was called John the Baptist.

The disciples of Jesus were also familiar to the teaching that Elijah must come and asked Jesus about this when they were coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew chapter 17.
Jesus told them that Elijah had come already and that it was John the Baptist that fulfilled that prophecy.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. Matthew 17:10-12

During the ministry of Jesus many times people questioned if He was Elijah, or "that Prophet".
During the ministry of Jesus many times people questioned if He was Elijah, or “that Prophet”.

At the birth of John the Baptist
And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:11-17