Some years ago, my family decided to begin celebrating the Jewish feast of Passover—not simply the day of the feast, but also the entire week. This meant a full 7 days of eating absolutely no pork products (like pepperoni or sausage) or leaven (like yeast or baking soda).
On Passover day, before sundown, we remove from our pantry and refrigerator anything that contains leaven or pork. This cleansing process can be quite extensive and time-consuming, as we read labels or try to remember what we put in the leftover casserole. From then on, we carefully control what we eat.
During the week of Passover, my family is hyper-vigilant about everything that goes in our mouths. We have discovered leavening in crackers, ice cream, salad dressings, and seasoning mixes, to name a few. No one wants to break the Passover by accidentally ingesting a forbidden food.
Why do we, as Christians, keep the Passover? For me, the dietary restrictions illustrate spiritual realities in a way that goes beyond my understanding. The New Testament compares leaven to sin, noting that just a little bit of leaven causes the whole dough to rise. We are called to be “unleavened” by corrupting influences, and to be single-minded in the service of the Lord.
During Passover, I am continually astounded by the pervasiveness of the forbidden thing. It makes me wonder: How often do we forget the pervasiveness of sin? What choices do we make without thinking through all the implications or motivations? What if we examined our words, deeds, and motivations as closely as my family examines labels during Passover? What might we avoid if only we would be more vigilant?
Whether you celebrate Passover or not, what does the Passover season bring to mind for you?
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