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©Laura Haverkamp

Chapter 16:1-8 (ESV)

Posted on March 03, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 16:1-8 (ESV) - “Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the LORD your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place that the LORD will choose, to make his name dwell there. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste—that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the flesh that you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, but at the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, at the time you came out of Egypt. And you shall cook it and eat it at the place that the LORD your God will choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. For six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work on it.

Question to consider: Why is unleavened bread served in the Passover feast?

The word Abib (Aviv) is technically a season (Spring) and not a month. As an example, the city of Tel Aviv means “Hill of Spring”. God did not name the days and months of the year but numbered them presumably to count months in relation to the Exodus and days in relation to the Sabbath. Man has given names to months and days, and for the most part, the origins have not been good. For example March is named for the Roman god Mars and Thursday for the Norse god Thor. After the Babylonian exile, Jews continued to use the month names that were common to Babylon.

When God instituted the Passover, it was important enough that God changed the calendar by saying, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.” (Exodus 12:2) In saying “observe the month of Spring and keep the Passover”, Moses was emphasizing the importance of associating the beginning of days with the Spring. Freeing Israel from Egyptian bondage was giving them new life, and ultimately it pointed to our freedom from sin and new life in Christ.

After speaking about the sacrifice of the first born unblemished male of the herds and flocks, it was only fitting to move on to the paschal sacrifice and unleavened bread. Just as they were to participate in the sacrifice of the unblemished first born of the herd and flock, so they would consume the Passover meal and become participants in the Exodus throughout the generations.

Everything about the Passover pointed to Christ as the deliverer of mankind. He was the paschal sacrifice. It is His blood that covers us and causes God’s judgment to pass over us. Matzah, the unleavened bread, is considered both the bread of affliction and the bread of freedom. As the bread of affliction, it is striped and pierced through as a symbol of the affliction of slavery which was put upon the people of Israel in Egypt. Of Christ, the LORD proclaimed through the prophet Isaiah, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)

As the bread of freedom, the people made it in haste without leaven in their Exodus from Egypt. Christ who was without sin proclaimed this bread to be His body which set us free from sin and death. It is only fitting that the cup of salvation offered in the Seder meal was the cup that Christ declared to be the New Covenant in His blood.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for providing us with an Exodus from sin and death. Thank You for providing a meal to us in which we can participate with our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the whole earth and with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven magnifying Your glorious name, evermore praising You. Amen.