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Moving the Cans


Moving the Cans
Today at sunset begins the celebration of Passover, Jewish families around the world will be celebrating this event with special seder meals tomorrow evening. Each component of this special meal is in commemoration of the Israelites exodus from Egypt. This meal is to remember the miracles that God provided for His chosen people to deliver them from slavery. But this meal is just the beginning of a week-long observation of the Chag HaMatzot or the Festival of Unleavened Bread. During this time the families will remove all leavening from their homes and only consume unleavened bread (think big communion crackers).

But before the Passover occurs these families have spent a month preparing their homes. Every toaster has been detailed clean, couch cushions vacuumed, pantries cleaned and every crumb of leavening removed. Or so that is the plan to remove all leavening from one's home. Why such a crazy spring cleaning plan? Because each crumb of leavening symbolizes sin, uncleanness or impurity in their home. They are also following God's command to keep this Holy Day for generations found in Exodus chapter 12.

17 "Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 18 In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel. 20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."
I grew up observing the Festival of Unleavened Bread. I remember very clearly the process of cleaning our house, every year my mom was determined to remove all the leavening from our home. But each year we failed, someone mid-week would move something and find a leavened item. It might have been just two small Ritz crackers left in the sleeve fallen behind the canned goods. But nonetheless we had failed, hidden away was that leavening. See the leavening was symbolic for sin, the goal was to remove it all out of our lives.

But just like those two pesky Ritz crackers, our sins are still there. We can pray, be exceptionally good and know scripture like the back of our hand. But nothing we can do can remove ALL our sins, it is only through the blood of Christ paying the price. So this week I'm so grateful for that fact that I can know my sins have been paid in full, because the Son of God willingly laid His life on that cross. For my sins that everyone knows about, but also those sins that I have hiding away behind the canned goods.

Removing the huge loaf of bread type of sins that are set on the counter may be a little easier in the beginning. But we all have those sins hidden back in our lives, the ones that are in that dark corner of the pantry. Those are the sins that are so hard to address, they may not be known by others, they are hidden in that back left corner. Why is it so hard to climb back there and clean that leavening out? Because we may have to go to an emotional place, a place of vulnerability before our almighty God. Those few crumbs hidden away may be what is holding you back from true intimacy with God. So let's move those canned goods and get rid of those Ritz cracker sins in the weeks to come.

--Ashley Lankford