Moses and God were still discussing the Covenant that God was about to implement with the people of Israel.
We read of the next requirement from God in Exodus 34:25: “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Festival remain until morning.” (Exodus 34:25)
Does this sound odd and confusing to you?
Let’s break it down and see what we can determine in relation to the other things we have studied.
Thank you for joining us in this every Thursday ongoing Bible Study called COME AS A CHILD. We are walking through the bible in chronological order and today we take up where we left off last week in the 34th Chapter of Exodus. If you missed last week’s lesson you may review it here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/festivals-weeks-ingathering/.
THREE ANNUAL HIGH SABBATHS WITH FIRST FRUITS OFFERINGS
Remember we previously discussed that the men of Israel were to come before God three times a year. They were to bring an offering of the first-fruits of their labors. Three times a year would coincide with the harvest of the barley, the wheat and the grapes. The times were known as Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles.
Here God seems to still be instructing about these first-fruit offerings that are to be given during these three set-aside days. He is describing how these first-fruits can be properly offered up. He instructs Moses that the blood of a sacrifice to God should not be offered up along with anything containing yeast.
THE BODY OF CHRIST DID NOT CONTAIN SIN
When I think of “the blood” of the sacrifices offered to God; my mind immediately goes ahead in time to imagining The Body of Christ. He was our final holy sacrifice for sin. It is His holy blood that cleanses, covers and redeems us and makes us acceptable in the eyes of God.
The Israelites in the wilderness were offering the blood of bulls as temporary sacrifices. Christ was the last and final sacrifice; the only perfect and acceptable one.
The blood of animals would have been what some of the people of Israel brought as their first-fruit offerings three times a year during the time in the wilderness. Though they were living in a time of no harvesting; these days were still required. They did travel with livestock. The days were not to be forgotten and they were to be carried out properly, according to God’s instructions. As He instructs; God says not to mix such an offering with anything that contains yeast (leaven) We have discussed many times that yeast was symbolic for sin. Christ was the only sinless sacrifice.
A BLOOD SACRIFICE REQUIRES NO DRINK OFFERING
When I think of yeast and/or leaven I think of fermentation.
I consider that wine is fermented.
A drink offering that was often ritually poured out over the altar was wine. Wine is fermented; so God did not seem to want the people to bring wine along with the blood of the animal sacrifices. If a blood sacrifice was offered up the blood was poured out as the offering; similar to a drink offering but without leaven or fermentation. If there is blood; there is no need for wine. Nothing with the same qualities of yeast was to be used for this offering.
Once again I think of the sinless life of Jesus Christ. He and He alone can atone for our sins. He and He alone was innocent and sinless. His blood was poured out for us; like a drink offering; but it was pure – without leaven.
ONLY UNLEAVENED BREAD FOR FIRST FRUIT OFFERINGS
Another thing that comes to mind is bread.
Bread can be baked with yeast; thus fermented; or it can be unleavened. The unleavened bread would be an acceptable first-fruits offering; but bread containing leaven would not be acceptable and should not be brought before God as a first-fruits offering.
Do you get the idea that God was making sure the people knew and understood without a doubt that the redemption of their sins had to be a perfect, sin-free sacrifice?
This was the beginning of how God taught Israel about the cost of sin and how to be redeemed. Israel was to set the pattern to teach the whole world the ways of God.
ONLY CERTAIN OFFERINGS WERE ACCEPTABLE
You could bring an animal sacrifice and offer up its blood.
You could bring bread that was unleavened.
Grape juice would be okay for a drink offering; but not wine.
These were the requirements for the firstfruits offerings which were brought before God three times a year.
God cared how these offerings were done. He gave explicit instructions.
Think back to the story of Cain and Abel. Their offerings had to be offered properly to be accepted by God.
Are you offering a perfect offering when you bring your first-fruits before God? If you are not covered in the blood of Jesus; it is not accepted. If you are covered in the blood of Jesus but still living in your old sins; that is not acceptable. The two cannot be mixed and be accepted by God.
So what does all of this mean to us today? In a nutshell it means: Do not mix the redeeming blood of Christ with the leaven of your old life before you committed yourself to Christ.
If you are in Christ; you are a new creature. Nothing of the old should remain.
THE OLD HAS PASSED AWAY
In the very next verse we hear God say “neither shall the sacrifice of the Passover remain until morning.”
This theory worked the same with the people eating the manna in the wilderness. You could only gather and eat a double portion the day before the Sabbath. On the regular days of the week; nothing was to be left uneaten. Each day contained that day’s sufficiency. God always provided enough for the day they were in. If some was kept and carried over for the next day it ruined and decayed. The ruin and decay was the result of not following God’s explicit instructions. It became impossible to use the food for nourishment except in the way God instructed. When used properly; it sustained the people.
This means in relation to living our lives as Christ would have us to live them out; we are not to save up our good deeds and ways to be like and follow in the footsteps of Christ until tomorrow. We need to act now, in the moments where we are living; in the time that God has given and provided to us. Some things are not to be kept stored up. The Spirit of God within us when we are committed to God’s way of life must overflow into each and every moment in which we are living out our daily lives. It should be multiplied out to others, like the loaves and the fishes on that day of The Sermon on the Mount after being broken and given to the people by Christ.
CHRIST OUR PASSOVER LAMB
Christ became our Passover. We are not to store Him up inside ourselves; we are to share Him with the world. We are to use what He gives us within the day in which He gives it. We do this in the present moment and not waiting for a new day in the future.
Galatians 2:20 explains that if we are crucified with Christ; His Holy Spirit comes to live in us. Our old nature dies and is replaced by the good nature of Christ. The old life fades away and the new life begins. This NEW life is where our frist-fruits offerings are made. God doesn’t want anything to do with the old life (the leaven.) He wants unleavened bread (a clean new life) mixed with the blood of Christ living within our veins; giving us a transformation into a whole new way of living; God’s way over our old carnal nature.
A NEW LIFE; A NEW WAY
In God’s way of living; our old natures are replaced with Christ living within us, constantly redeeming us and making us new. The new life is unleavened; it contains no sin. It is completely different from our old life and now it is acceptable as an offering and a sacrifice to bring before God.
God was about to let the people begin to construct His Wilderness Tabernacle; His temporary dwelling among the people. In order to do this; they had to learn how to live holy lives. They had to learn to live a new way. Any people who built a temple acceptable for God to dwell in had to be made holy. They had to be redeemed. It needed to be a blood sacrifice; without blemish to redeem them. No leaven could come near this sacrifice that the people were to offer up.
These first-fruits offerings would prepare their souls and their bodies to become acceptable servants of God living in the wilderness. As set-aside and holy people they would be allowed to construct a temporary dwelling place for God to inhabit.
Each Feast of Tabernacles; we come inside our sukkahs; our temporary dwelling places that have been prepared for God to inhabit. He is our welcomed guest at this sacred feast. We stand before him in our bodies which are also the temporary dwelling places of our souls. We offer up our first and our best unto God. We offer the first-fruits of our labors in celebration of the fact that He is Master of the Universe; the One Holy God of Heaven and Earth.
When Jesus came to live among us; and He grew into a perfect man who shared The LORD’S Supper with his disciples; He was leaving them for a while and they were going to be instructed and equipped to build the Church. At this meal Jesus introduced what has become a tradition among God’s people; that of associating wine and bread with the Body and Blood of Christ; and associating The Body of Christ as the transformation process of the Church becoming One with Christ. This act that started at Passover was fulfilled at Pentecost and will be celebrated at The Feast of Tabernacles in the reign of Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords after his second coming.
The first example of The Lord’s Supper was instituted at The First Passover. This was the tradition Christ was continuing with His disciples just before His crucifixion.
But we have stated that God said there should be no leaven; or no fermentation mixed with the sacrifices offered up as first-fruits.
Was the wine at Passover fermented?
Does it matter?
It matters if we adhere to God’s instructions to Moses and consider them to be a parallel for preparing to build the temples as compared to preparing to walk in God’s ways as a Christian within The Body of Christ called the Church.
How are we to know what applies here?
What applies is the truth we find in t he scriptures:
Then Jesus took the cup and blessed it saying; “This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of this vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom.” (Matthew 26:27-29)
They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall; and when he had tasted thereof; he would not drink. (Matthew 27:34)
If you notice; Christ did not partake of the wine, neither at the Passover nor at the crucifixion. When He gave his life on the cross; His blood was pure of leaven. His heart also was pure of sin. He took no chances of not being the perfect sacrifice for His people; the ones He loved enough to die for. Always and forever we can trust that He was following The Father. He was carrying out the proper offering of the first-fruits of His work on earth. Our Groom was making sure that He fulfilled the role of The Beloved. He took no chances on losing us. He gave all in order to save us.
This is the One we can look forward to spending eternity with!
Could there ever be a more perfect union?
Now each time we drink the wine and each time we take the unleavened bread; we remember His perfect love.