Living Lord Jesus, make us alive and holy with You. Amen.
Text: 1 Corinthians 5:7–8
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.
During Passover all leaven (yeast) was forbidden to the Children of Israel under penalty of death. But as they ate the Passover lamb each year, so we eat the true Passover Lamb forever with heartfelt faith. Christ is delivered into death for us, and whoever believes in Him lives forever in His fellowship and celebrates Passover unceasingly. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (Joh 6:53). Here it is talking about the union of the heart with Jesus. Only in that is there life. But do you hear what the Apostle says about the leaven? Do you remember that leaven is forbidden, that it is death itself? “The old leaven” is the nature and life of the old man. All the lusts of the flesh must be attacked, just as all the leaven in the house among the Israelites had to be swept out at Passover. If you make peace again with any of your fleshly lusts, then it is death. “The leaven of malice and wickedness” is the same as an evil and deceitful mind. How could hate and anger, the spirit of Esau and Saul, be united with Jesus who is pure love? Or how should anger, lying, and deceit belong together with our holy, sinless Passover Lamb? No, no! Sincerity and truth should be our bread. You believers in the Lord are a new lump of dough. You are unleavened and pure, and you should be. The Passover is sacrificed; so you are a new lump, the Apostle says. O you who understand God’s Word and believe it! Because you are a new lump, you can and shall purge out the old. Your whole life should be in sincerity and truth. Your whole life should be in the power of Christ’s resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. Your whole life should be on a high level. It should not wallow in the mud, in the filth of sin, but it should be in the heights: in truth and holiness, in Jesus’ pure and heavenly spirit. As leaven leavens the whole lump, so the new life, the life of Christ’s resurrection, should be seen in your behavior: from the heart in all your deeds show yourself to be like this even down to the least things, just as in our body the heartbeat drives the blood out into the fingertips.
God, help us truly to believe and truly to live a holy life. Amen.
My soul, now arise and be waking
For hell’s darkest cloud now is breaking
By Jesus’ death all now is vanished,
And vict’ry eternal accomplished.
Away with all sins and oppression!
Shines forth now the Lord’s resurrection!
For Jesus our sins all did carry,
That we all our guilt now may bury.
Purge out, one and all, the old leaven,
To penitence truly be given.
All evil of soul now be ridding,
Farewell to the old ways be bidding.
A Passover Lamb now is driven,
To slaughter for us now is given,
Lord Jesus, our joy and our gladness
Who soon takes away all our sadness.
Let purity fill all my thinking
And truth in all my understanding,
All wickedness casting far from us,
The Passover we keep with gladness.
Kingo: O kjæreste Sjæl op at Vaage L 353:1-4.6 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Med Sorgen og Klagen (LHy 595); alternate hymn: The strife is o’er ELH 357:1-2