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Unleavened Lives

Read: John 19:38-42

Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (vv. 41-42 NRSV)

The Day of Preparation was the prelude to the annual Passover celebration, when Jews remembered the deliverance of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. On the Day of Preparation devout Jewish families went through their homes to remove all of the leaven.

Leaven was used to make bread rise, but on the first Passover the Israelites left Egypt in such haste they did not have time to wait for the bread to rise. Over time leaven took on an additional meaning. It came to represent sin. The removal of leaven from the house is a symbolic representation of the cleansing of sin from the life of the household.

Jesus’ death and burial on the Day of Preparation is more than coincidental. Jesus enters his tomb to remove sin from the “house,” the “household of faith” (Gal. 6:10), even while his fellow Jews were entering their homes to remove the leaven.

Jesus is literally doing what people of faith had been doing symbolically for hundreds of years. He is removing the sin that has been wreaking havoc on all our houses. Though the full consummation of sin’s removal from our lives is still to be realized, Christ was dealing sin its fatal blow when he died and was buried on that “Day of Preparation.” —Jon Brown

As you pray, thank Jesus for his sacrifice to remove your sin.

About the Author

Jon Brown

Jonathon Brown is the lead pastor of Pillar Church in Holland, MI. Jon loves preaching (recently publishing a book on the matter—“Missional Preaching with a Missionary Congregation: the Word in Worship for the World”) and loves walking with people through all of life’s circumstances. He loves to invite people to follow Jesus in community on mission. Jon and his beloved wife, Kristyn, are the proud parents of four daughters.