by Heather Tietz
Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place.
1 Corinthians 5:7
Hieroglyphics show that Egyptians as far back as 5000 years ago ate leavened bread.
Since they wouldn’t have had a handy jar of yeast to add to flour, it’s likely that they left their dough out to acquire yeast naturally from the air. Eventually, someone discovered that adding a lump of yesterday’s dough to the new batch sped up the rising process. The old yeast could be worked through the new lump, then voila, soft bread.
Paul makes a beautiful play on words in today’s passage.
He uses the image of the Passover, the time when the Israelites were hurrying out of Egypt, freed from the bonds of slavery, rushing toward freedom with a lump of unleavened bread on their backs. Like them, this bread was new, fresh, untouched with yesterday’s yeast, untouched by yesterday’s ways, untouched by slavery.
We, too, are like unleavened bread. As Christians, we have a new life because of Jesus, our Passover. In place of sin, Jesus is kneaded into our lives, into our marriages, friendships, professions, conversations, daily routines. He is our leavening agent, making us rise to any occasion.
So, purge out those old sins that try to creep back in. Let Jesus empower you to be new!
Thank You for letting me cover myself with Jesus’ precious blood, blotting out my sins and saving me from Your wrath. Help me to always claim the new life Christ offers as my own. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.