On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
ESV - 17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?
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The feasts of the passover, firstfruits, and unleavened bread were held every year in connection with the barley harvest (Ruth 1:22; 2:17,23; Lev. 23:4-15). Different kinds of bread were intended to show gratefulness for God's abundant supply for daily needs. All the parts of the ram and the different breads were waved and heaved before God to acknowledge Him. This is the motive of all true worship in O.T. days. (Ex. 29:23) There are two types of breads ❶ Leavened bread commonly used at social feasts, was permitted in the thank offering which was the spontaneous expression of devotion from lives that were not entirely rid of sin in every case. It taught that everything eaten is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer (1Tim. 4:4-5; 1Cor. 10:23,30) and that food which enters the stomach does not defile a man (Mt. 15:11). ❷ Unleavened bread Hebrew: challah (H2471) is used to refer leavened bread or cakes, or punctured bread. The root word is chalal (H2490), to bore or pierce. In baking or frying the top was perhaps pierced, giving the appearance of having holes in it. In Lev. 24:5 we learn that the cakes of showbread contained two tenth deals (one gallon) of dry flour, which would make large cakes--about seven and a half pounds each. Unleavened bread is not commanded for any feasts in Bible. Hebrew: matsah (H4682) is used to refer unleavened that means to squeeze or compress. It refers to bread without yeast which is a form of ferment and typifies sin (2Cor. 5:6-8). Feast of unleavened bread was first instituted in Ex. 13:3. Evidences as it was commanded for Jews: 1. Roast the whole lamb; eat with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (Ex. 12:8-9) 2. Remove leaven from your houses; eat unleavened bread only (Ex. 12:15,19-20; 13:3-7). 3. Begin the feast of unleavened bread at the time of the passover (Ex. 12:15-20). 4. Eat unleavened bread seven days (Ex. 12:15). 5. Eat unleavened bread seven days (Ex. 23:15). Purpose and symbolism of the feast of unleavened bread (Ex. 13:3) To help them remember this day of the exodus--the day they came out of slavery--God commanded Israel to set apart the seventh day to commemorate their deliverance from bondage (Dt. 5:15). Commandment for eating leavened bread: Do not offer the blood of any sacrifice with leavened bread. Leaven symbolized evil (2Cor. 5:5-8). Death penalty: Eating leavened bread during the feast of unleavened bread (Ex. 12:15,19) Three important annual feasts for all Israel and Jews were taking unleavened breads: ❶ The Feast of Unleavened Bread, which included the feasts of passover and firstfruits (Deut. 16:16; Lev. 23:6-14). Feast of Passover and of and of unleavened bread (Mk. 11:27; cp. Mt. 26:2.). The two feasts were observed together, because the time for eating the passover was the commencement of the seven days during which unleavened bread alone was to be eaten (Ex. 12:1-28 Lev. 23:4-8). Feast of Passover Instituted in Egypt to commemorate the passing over of the houses of the Jews when the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain (Ex. 12). It began on the 14th of Nisan and also started the feast of unleavened bread for 8 days, which commemorated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Lev. 23; Ex. 23:14). ❷ Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, fifty days after the passover feast (Deut. 16:16; Lev. 23:15-22). ❸ The Feast Tabernacles, which was near enough to the time of the Feast of Trumpets and the Great Day of Atonement that all could be attended in a 22-day period (Deut. 16:16; Lev. 23:23-44).The usual custom was that a cup was filled with wine for every one. A blessing was pronounced, after which the wine was drunk. Then unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and the lamb were brought in. Thanksgiving was offered for the many blessings of life and the food handed around to each guest. A second cup of wine was drunk after which an explanation of the feast was given with Ex. 12:26-27. The company then sang Ps. 113 and Ps. 114, followed by another blessing. Then the food was eaten. After this a third cup of wine was drunk and Ps. 115 and Ps. 118 were sung. This is what is referred to in Mt. 26:30 Mk. 14:26. John mentions 6 Jewish traditional feasts that Christ attended (Jn. 2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 7:2,10; 10:22; 12:1; 13:1). Jesus celebrating Passover with his disciples Under the new covenant of Jesus, he changed the tradition as he compared the unleavened to His own body symbolically (should not take as literal senses) And so unleavened bread in communion represents His body. The bread was broken, indicating His broken body which was so marred by stripes and beatings that it did not look like a son of man (Isa. 52:14). The bread was unleavened. No leaven was to be found in all the dwellings, signifying no evil or sin in the Son of God (Mt. 13:33). Passover in the O.T. days is now replaced by the communion by the Christians. The unleavened bread in the Christian communion represents the body of Christ on the cross. Greek: stauroo (G4717), to impale on a cross. The Greeks and Romans borrowed this form of punishment from the Phoenicians and continued it for the worst criminals and slaves until Constantine in the 4th century. The doctrine of the Lord's Supper: 1. It was instituted at the time of the passover replacing Passover meal under new covenant (Lk. 22:14-20). 2. It is "the Lord's Supper" (1Cor. 11:20), "the communion of the blood of Christ," and "the communion of the body of Christ" (1Cor. 10:16). 3. The elements used were "the fruit of the vine" (grape juice, Mk. 14:25; Lk. 22:18) and "unleavened bread" (Mt. 26:17,26; Mk. 14:12,22; Lk. 22:7,19). 4. The unleavened bread was broken, symbolizing the marred and striped body of Christ for our healing (Mt. 26:26; Lk. 22:19; 1Cor. 10:16; 11:24-29 Isa. 52:14; 53:4-5 1Pet. 2:24). 5. The grape juice symbolized the blood of Christ shed for the remission of sins (Mt. 26:28; Mk. 14:24; Lk. 22:20; 1Cor. 10:16; 11:25-29 Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14,20). 6. Each believer is supposed to partake (Mt. 26:26-27 Mk. 14:22; Lk. 22:17; 1Cor. 10:16-17; 11:28). 7. Thanksgiving and blessings were offered for it (Mt. 26:26-27 Mk. 14:22-23 Lk. 22:17,19; 1Cor. 10:16; 11:24). 8. It is a remembrance of the death of Christ until He comes again (Lk. 22:19; 1Cor. 11:24-26). 9. It can be partaken daily (Acts 2:42,46), weekly (Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 10:17) or as "often" as desired (1Cor. 11:26). 10. Early disciples observed it daily until they began to have weekly meetings, then it was observed every Sunday, according to history and Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 16:2. 11. It will be observed by Christ and all believers in the kingdom of God forever (Mt. 26:29; Mk. 14:25; Lk. 22:18,30). 12. It is an ordinance that should bring unity and love among believers and not division and strife (1Cor. 10:16-17; 11:16-30). 13. It should be partaken in faith and proper examination of self or condemnation, sickness and even death may result (1Cor. 11:17-30).
Since (as the verse cited in the question notes) the observance being commemorated during the Last Supper was that of Unleavened Bread, and the bread employed at that event was therefore undoubtedly unleavened in accordance with God's command (Exodus 12:8; 12:15; 12:17-20), I would say that it is more accurate for the bread used in Communion to also be unleavened. (In addition, leaven is used in both the Old and New Testaments as a symbol of sin or corruption (Amos 4:4-5; 1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9).)
When looking to the original Greek language used to write the New Testament, it is interesting to note there is a Greek word for unleavened bread (‘azumos’) and there is a Greek word for a small round loaf of ordinary bread (‘artos’). When applying these two words to some of the verses in the New Testament the following pattern emerges: Matthew 26:17 “Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread (azumon) the disciples…” Matthew 26:26 “…Jesus took some bread (arton)…” John 6:35 “Jesus said to them ‘I am the bread of life (arton)…” Mark 6:37 "...Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread (artous) and give it to them to eat?” 1 Corinthians 11:23 “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread (arton)…” What is interesting is Paul did not use the Greek word for unleavened (bread) but rather he used the Greek word for ordinary bread. Since a believer or their church is remembering the Lord’s Supper and not the Passover, I believe leavened bread may be served. If a believer or their church wants to more accurately reflect the Passover, then I believe unleavened bread should be used.
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