A Heart Unleavened
Tuesday, 24th of October 2023
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Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people. (Luke 22:1-2)
According to the Bible, the Israelites were to eat only unleavened bread every year during Passover as a commemoration of the Exodus from Egyptian bondage. Since the children of Israel left Egypt hastily, they did not have time for the bread to rise.
In the Bible, leaven is virtually invariably associated with sin. Like leaven that permeates the whole lump of dough, sin will spread in a person, a church, or a nation, eventually overwhelming and bringing its participants into its bondage and eventually to death (Galatians 5:9).
During Passover, the Jews were expected to remove all leaven (yeast) from their houses (Exodus 12:15), signifying a removal of sin from their lives. The chief priests and the scribes had cleansed their homes but not their hearts.
Proverbs 4:23 reminds us, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Although the chief priests and scribes performed religious rituals flawlessly, they failed to fulfil their primary responsibility of protecting their hearts.
They feared the people and not God. This misplaced fear illustrates Proverbs 29:25, "Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety." When we prioritise the opinions and judgments of humans over God, we are setting ourselves up for spiritual decline.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." The chief priests and scribes chose to act based on their fear of people rather than their fear of God. Their religious exterior was impeccable, but internally, they were, as Jesus described, "whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean" (Matthew 23:27).
It is easy to criticise them, but how often do we, too, prioritise people's opinions over God’s? Are there moments where we compromise our beliefs for acceptance, accolades, or advancement? Like the chief priests and scribes, have we ever focused so much on our outer appearance that we neglect the state of our hearts?
As we reflect upon the state of our hearts, let us strive not just for ritualistic cleanliness but for genuine transformation. It's not about fearing man or seeking their approval. Our hearts should be captivated by a reverent fear of the Lord and a desire to live in obedience to Him. In doing so, we ensure that the leaven of sin does not creep into the chambers of our hearts, leading us astray.
Heavenly Father, cleanse our hearts from the leaven of sin and worldly desires. Grant us the strength to prioritise Your will over human approval. May our lives glorify You in all we do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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