Saturday April 20: 15 Aviv
Today is the 15th day of Aviv and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Matzah). According to the Bible and tradition, there are many very important events that took place on this day. For instance, tradition believes that it was on this day that God made the “covenant of the pieces” with Abraham as recorded in Genesis 15. It was at that time that God spoke to Abraham concerning the future of his descendants, who had not yet been born.
“Then He said to Abram: ‘Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also, the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.’” (Genesis 15:13-14)
In Genesis 18, God made another promise to Abraham concerning his descendants. It was at that time, traditionally on the 15th of Aviv, that three men visited Abraham in his tent and announced to him that Sarah would bear him a son – the promised seed. During this visit, Abraham had instructed Sarah to “quickly” bake three cakes of bread, hinting that these cakes were from dough that did not have time to rise, thus making rendering them unleavened (Gen. 18:6). A year later, the son of promise, Isaac, was born.
Again, according to tradition, it was on this day that Moses encountered God who appeared in a burning bush. It was there that God spoke to Moses about His intention to redeem His people from the bondage of Egypt, thus keeping His promise to Abraham.
“And the LORD said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So, I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Exodus 3:7-8)
God redemptive plan for Israel and the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham culminated on the 15th day of Aviv with the death of the firstborn in Egypt. It was on this day that the Exodus from Egypt began, occurring on the exact day, four hundred and thirty years after God had promised Abraham that He would bring His descendants from the land of their bondage. We should also point out that, just as He had promised, Israel left Egypt with great possessions (Exodus 12:40-41).
Perhaps the most important event to have occurred on this day, so far, happened 2,000 years ago. On this day, the crucified Messiah was laying in a borrowed tomb. His distraught disciples had scattered and were in hiding, not certain what to do. All of that would change in a couple of days.
Obviously, this day holds extreme importance as it relates to God calling forth his people to be a light to the nations and we should anticipate that this day will continue to be important in that same way. So, as we partake of the unleavened bread, let us remember the Messiah’s sacrifice on our behalf and be reminded that we are to abstain from the works of the flesh. As Paul said:
“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 Corinthians 5:6-8)
On this day, let us consider the what God had accomplished for His people in times past as we anticipate what He will accomplish for us the future. The same God who intervened in their life can intervene in ours and will if we keep ourselves set apart for His purposes. Have a blessed day.