The Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month, according to the sacred calendar, is the feast that commemorates Christ’s suffering on the cross (Lev 23:6). The Church of God celebrates the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the fifteenth day of the first month by sacred calendar, following the teachings of the new covenant established by Jesus Christ.
- Origin of the Feast
The Feast of Unleavened Bread originated from the Israelites’ suffering and all the trials they experienced from the time they kept the Passover and left Egypt until the time they crossed the Red Sea. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, released the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt, but immediately changed his mind. He sent all the chariots of Egypt to chase after them—including six hundred of the country’s best chariots—to capture the Israelites and bring them back to Egypt. As Pharaoh’s army approached, the Israelites were terrified and cried out to the LORD. At that moment, the LORD God divided the Red Sea by Moses’ staff, revealing dry ground between the two walls of water. It is written that God allowed six-hundred thousand men to safely cross the Red Sea. Then, how many women and children do you think were among them? God protected all the Israelites from the Egyptian army by a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire, delaying the Egyptians’ ability to chase after God’s people. We can only assume how hasty their departure was and how nervous the fugitives’ hearts were at that time. All of the difficulties and hardships that the Israelites endured during this time period became the origin of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex 14:1-31).
- Prophecy and Fulfillment
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a feast of suffering, representing the crucifixion of Jesus. The Israelites’ traveling into the Red Sea represented Jesus’ going into the tomb. Their landing on the other side of the Red Sea represented His resurrection, the significance of which is implied in the baptism that we undergo now. On the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Moses led the natural Israelites from Egypt into the Desert of Sinai, and on this feast Jesus led the spiritual Israelites from this sinful world—the reality of Egypt—into the desert of faith. Whoever believes in Christ and is baptized symbolically crossed the Red Sea and entered the desert of faith. When we commemorate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we participate in Christ’s suffering and are given the power from God to endure the tribulations and hardships that we will face (Lk 22:43-44).
In the Old Testament times, God commanded His people to eat unleavened bread (bread made without yeast) and bitter herbs, so that they would remember their ancestor’s suffering. The unleavened bread was also called the “bread of affliction” (Dt 16:3). These events were a prophecy to reveal that Jesus would suffer, being hung on the cross. In the New Testament times, we participate in Christ’s suffering by fasting, according to God’s command.
Mark 2:20『“But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.”』