When God led the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, He told them to prepare for a quick departure by making bread without yeast. He gave instructions to remember their departure through the celebration of Passover - also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During this celebration there was a seven day period when yeast was not even allowed in the home: "For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel" (Exodus 12:19).
When God established the various offerings through Moses, yeast became associated with an unworthy sacrifice; "Every grain offering you bring to the Lord must be made without yeast" (Leviticus 2:11).
About 1500 years later, Jesus used the symbolism of yeast to give His disciples an important warning.
Luke 12:1 "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
With this choice of words, Jesus warned that hypocrisy has the ability to contaminate our lives, and therefore the offering we present to God. The Pharisees had an outward appearance of godliness, but their hearts had compromised true worship and become contaminated; "On the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness" (Matthew 23:28). When we examine our own heart, does it match how we appear on the outside? Or have we too become full of hypocrisy?
The symbolism of yeast gives another clear warning; "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough" (Galatians 5:9). Every day we are tempted to make compromises with the world; compromises which cause us to behave contrary to our professed beliefs. This is hypocrisy and must be avoided at all cost! Each incident seems so small - like only "a little yeast" - but soon the compromises work through all areas of our life.
The only worthy endeavor during our allotted time on earth is to present ourselves, with complete abandonment, as a living sacrifice to God; "this is your spiritual (or reasonable) act of worship" (Romans 12:1). Our Heavenly Father is worthy of our very best...a pure and holy offering.
Let's celebrate our release from the slavery of sin by cleaning our home and removing all spiritual compromise. Let's give our whole heart to God in loving worship and guard against ANYTHING which pulls us away. Let's fight the hypocrisy in our lives and diligently guard against the yeast.
Have a Christ Centered Day!