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Unleavened Bread for the Holy Communion
What is Unleavened Bread?
Unleavened bread, in the simplest terms, is bread baked without a leavening, or rising agent. Normally, bread is made with wheat or corn flour mixed with yeast or baking soda as in our time, so that it rises and increases in size when it is baked.
The Egyptians were one of the earliest people in the ancient world to have discovered a way of baking bread with leaven which is a fermented substance. In the process of fermentation, yeast produces carbon dioxide, alcohol and other compounds which enable dough to rise and modify its physical properties.
Symbolism of Leaven
The bread that has leaven is a symbol of corruption and sin. God wanted to give the children of Israel a constant reminder to leave the sins of the Egyptians behind them when they were being delivered from their bondage of slavery when they celebrated the Passover and the Days of the Unleavened Bread.
In the Passover Meal (Seder) every household had an unblemished lamb or goat killed. “Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” (Ex. 12:8) “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.” (Ex. 12:15)
In the New Testament “leaven” is a symbol of any evil influence that, if allowed to remain, can corrupt the body of believers. The Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees, their teaching and hypocrisy (Mt. 16:5-12; Lk. 12:1).
Paul's Rebuke of the Corinthian Church
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church: “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor. 5:6-8)
From the above passage of Scripture we can come to an understanding about how the Early Apostolic churches kept their Holy Communion. They used “unleavened bread.”
Only the Unleavened Bread is the Perfect Emblem of the Sinless Body of the Lord Jesus Christ
(1) Only unleavened bread can fitly represent the sinless body of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Leaven is characteristically a type of sin, and it is so represented in 1. Corinthians 5, in connection with the Holy Communion.
(2) Unleavened bread also answers to the sincerity of heart in which we should partake of the Holy Communion.
"Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Cor. 5:8).
“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” (1 Cor. 11:27-32)
(3) Unleavened bread, moreover, emphasizes the need of purging the church.
"Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, . . . but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Cor. 5:7,8). This passage, following Paul’s injunction to exclude the incestuous man, shows that he connected unleavened bread with the purity of the church.
The Restored Apostolic Church of Today Follows the Same Way that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Communion by using the Unleavened Bread
Use only One Unleavened Bread
“For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:17)
After the Prayer of Blessing from the Lord Jesus Christ the Unleavened Bread is broken with the hands and distributed to the Church Congregation.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." (Mt. 26:26)
The apostle Paul received the Revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ on how Holy Communion is Administered
"For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you; Do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (1 Cor. 11:23-26).