Shemini Shel Pesach שמיני של פסח "Eighth Day of Passover "
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
At the same time as the celebration of Passover on the 15th of Aviv/Nisan the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzah) begins. Passover and Unleavened Bread have been observed by God's people for over 3500 years. Its observance has been lost to modern Christians but in ancient times all of God's people, from the Jews and the Nations observed this Appointed Time. This is why Paul (Sha'ul) writes these verses to the Corinthians:
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Messiah, our Pesach, has been sacrificed in our place. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the matzah (unleavened bread) of sincerity and truth. -1st Corinthians 5:6-8 (HNV)
Also even three generation removed from Yeshua the Messiah we have the testimony of Polycrates the Bishop of Ephesus as the observance of recognizing the 14th of Nisan as the day of the crucifixion, the celebration of the Passover and Unleavened Bread. The quote that follows is from a letter to Victor and the Church of Rome in his day:
As for us, then, we scrupulously observe the exact day, neither adding nor taking away. For in Asia great luminaries have gone to their rest, who shall rise again in the day of the coming of the Lord, when He cometh with glory from heaven and shall raise again all the saints. I speak of Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who is laid to rest at Hierapolis; and his two daughters, who arrived at old age unmarried; his other daughter also, who passed her life under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and reposes at Ephesus; John, moreover, who reclined on the Lord's bosom, and who became a priest wearing the mitre, and a witness and a teacher-he rests at Ephesus. Then there is Polycarp, both bishop and martyr at Smyrna; and Thraseas from Eumenia, both bishop and martyr, who rests at Smyrna. Why should I speak of Sagaris, bishop and martyr, who rests at Laodicea? of the blessed Papirius, moreover? and of Melito the eunuch, who performed all his actions under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and lies at Sardis, awaiting the visitation from heaven, when he shall rise again from the dead? These all kept the passover on the fourteenth. day of the month, in accordance with the Gospel, without ever deviating from it, but keeping to the rule of faith.
Moreover I also, Polycrates, who am the least of you all, in accordance with the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have succeeded-seven of my relatives were bishops, and I am the eighth, and my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven-I myself, brethren, I say, who am sixty-five years old in the Lord, and have fallen in with the brethren in all parts of the world, and have read through all Holy Scripture, am not frightened at the things which are said to terrify us. For those who are greater than I have said, "We ought to obey God rather than men."
So we have a direct line of observance of the biblical Appointed times from John the Disciple of Jesus to Polycarp to Polycrates who tells of the extensive observance of Passover and Unleavened Bread in the congregations of his time. So this is something that believers once did, but lost the practice of over time. So why is this important for us today?
Leaven in the Bible is a symbol of pride. This is because just as leaven puffs up bread, sin puffs up a person. It makes both seem bigger than they actually are. This is why Paul/Sha'ul writes that boasting is like yeast. He says that if you believe in the Messiah it is time to get rid of all of your pride because the Messiah was sacrificed as our Passover Lamb in order to rid us of our pride which is equal to sin. So Paul/Sha'ul teaches that in order to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread that one needs to get rid of all malice, wickedness, and pride. All arrogance must be purged so that we may be like unleavened bread, humble servants.
So the feast of Unleavened Bread lasts for 7 days. Outside of Israel there is an extra day added from before modern time so that those outside of the land could be sure that they celebrated the correct days. For 7 days leavened bread is to be purged from the home. This is to symbolize the purging of sin from our lives. This is done for 7 days because 7 is the number of perfection. We are to practice perfectly purging our lives from pride, arrogance, and sin.
It is also a prophetic picture of what Yeshua did as our Passover sacrifice. Through His work on the cross He perfectly purged our lives from sin. If we follow after Him then He will complete the work of this purging in the future when we will be perfect and free us from the sin of pride. We will no longer be wicked, but humble and pride free.