bread of affliction
3You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall
eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for
you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember
the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of
33And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them
out of the land in haste. For they said, "We shall all be dead."
34So the people took their dough before it was leavened,
having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their
shoulders. 39And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough
which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened,
because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had
they prepared provisions for themselves. Exodus 12:33-34,39
The unleavened bread is
called the bread of affliction in the Old Testament. This is the
very bread that Jesus had in His hands when He said, "This is My
body which is given for you ...."(Luke 22:19) It was called the
bread of affliction because the Hebrews came out of Egypt in haste.
Making such an abrupt change was affliction to their souls. Imagine
having to pickup and leave town for good, in just a few days. Making
this sudden change would be quite disruptive and uncomfortable. This
would certainly be affliction to oneís soul.
The Hebrewís coming out
of Egypt is a picture of the Christians coming out of their sin.
Coming out of sin is also affliction to our souls. Making a change
in oneís lifestyle is disruptive and uncomfortable because people
are used to doing things a certain way. Initially, there is often
some pain to being delivered from a sin. Although deliverance from
sin almost always involves some initial pain, afterwards it yields
the peaceful fruit of righteousness. The delivered believer is glad
he suffered through the initial pain to get to a higher level of
I can remember when I
gave up my TV addiction. I knew that I was a free person because of
Jesusí death. I knew that I did not have to live my life tethered to
the TV set. But when I canceled my cable subscription (which also
included regular network programming in our neighborhood), I went
through a few weeks of periodic affliction and pain. I would go to
the TV and turn it on, knowing that it didnít work. But, the habit
of going to it for comfort was compelling. Taking the TV habit out
of my life left a hole in my soul. That TV was part of my life.
Making this abrupt change was initially affliction to my soul.
After a few weeks or a
month, I was already filling the hole with something else. The Holy
Spirit was using me to write the first part of this book. Imagine, I
could have logged several hundred hours on the TV and had nothing to
show for it. Instead, I have an important word written on the bread
of the Lordís Supper. I donít need to tell you how glad I am that I
weathered the initial affliction and pain.
It should be noted that
the bread of affliction is not just referring to the affliction that
Jesus suffered for us. This affliction is something that we share
with Jesus; i.e., we share in His sufferings. This is different from
the situation with the Passover lamb.
The Passover lamb was
slain for the Hebrews. This is a picture of the truth of
substitution, where Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. Here, the
Passover lamb suffered all the pain. The Hebrews didnít have to
suffer death. The lamb suffered for them.
With the bread of
affliction, on the other hand, the Hebrews were the ones eating the
bread to commemorate the pain that they suffered by coming out of
Egypt in haste. This is a picture of the New Testament truth where
believer has been crucified with Christ and therefore has to endure
the pain of coming out of sin and selfishness.
We should also make the
distinction between the bitter herbs eaten with the Passover lamb
and the bread of affliction. The bitter herbs were eaten so that the
Hebrews would remember the bitter bondage of living in Egypt under
Pharaoh. On the other hand, they ate the unleavened bread (bread of
affliction) to remember the pain of leaving Egypt in haste.
The chastisement of the
Lord also relates to the bread of affliction or the bread of the
5And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as
"My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives."
7If] you endure chastening, God deals with you as
with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
8But if you are without chastening, of which all have become
partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9Furthermore,
we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them
respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the
Father of spirits and live? 10For they indeed for a few
days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit,
that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11Now no
chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful;
nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of
righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:5-11
Notice in the above
scripture that Sonship requires chastisement (Hebrews 12:8). If a
person sins, even willfully sins, and does not get chastised by the
Lord, this might be a sign that that person is not a son and is not
Jesus died to set us
free from every sin problem we have. Therefore we are entitled to as
much deliverance as we truly want. Nobody on the earth today
genuinely wants to be delivered from every sin that they have.
Everyone has at least some well hidden sins that they and most
others cannot see. Everyone has some areas of weakness that they
just donít see as sin.
Thus, God must chastise
His sons and daughters in order to get their attention and to give
them a "want to" in certain areas of sin.
I personally was
tolerating too much of a fascination for spectator sports, i.e., NBA
basketball, NFL football, Major league baseball, etc. Although, it
was becoming idolatry, I just didnít see it as a problem.
Nevertheless, God had a
different perspective. Through some rather severe chastisement, I
finally developed a "want to" or desire to rid myself from all of
these distractions and affections. I had to eat the bread of
affliction and make some hard choices. Now, in hindsight, Iím glad
that I did. With this idolatry out of my life, things are going
better for me and Iím getting more done. Iím experiencing the
"....peaceful fruit of righteousness...."(Hebrews 12:11)
Again, we see the
familiar pattern. Embrace and be trained by the chastening of the
Lord, and then experience the peaceful fruit of righteousness. The
goal of dying to self is right living or practical righteousness.
Some would say that God
doesnít use circumstances and events to chastise us, He only uses
His word to correct us. But, how many kids have you raised that
always respond to reason and words? How many two and three year olds
do you know who always respond to logic and reason? All children
need chastisement, and this includes Godís children. Loving and
responsible parents are diligent to spank their kids when necessary.
How much more so is this true of our heavenly Father?
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