Passover and the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread basically happen in succession which makes it a bit difficult to discern between the two, but I will attempt to do so very simply. Passover begins at twilight on the 14th day of Nissan (sundown). And since the next Hebrew day begins after sundown, the Feast of Unleavened Bread commences after Passover at the beginning of the 15th day of Nissan. Literally, one rolls into the next.
Both Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were established as a blueprint to remember how God delivered the children of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh and the death plague. And because of the the rapid exit that the children of Israel made out of Egypt, they didn’t have any time to allow the bread to go through the leavening process.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a week long Feast (Lev. 23: 6).The first day and seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were considered “High Holy Days, or also referred to as “Sabbaths.” These “Sabbaths” were similar to a weekly Sabbath in that all the children of Israel were to cease from work and rest. But the “High Holy Days” were specific to the Sabbaths of the Feast days and were SET TIMES God chose to be set apart :
” Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”
Most Christians would read these New Testament scriptures and never know their is a difference between the Sabbaths. But understanding the distinction helps to break down the truth of the events that happened when Jesus fulfill scriptures and became the sacrificial Passover lamb.
The word “Holy Convocation” actually means “dress rehearsal.” God Himself tells us that celebrating these Feasts are a “dress rehearsal” for when Jesus arrives on the scene here on the earth to take on the primary role of the purpose of the Feast, which collectively, are all a part of God’s master plan of redemption.
The word “Feasts” means “divine appointment.” God orchestrated His Feast blueprint to reveal His “SET APART TIME” to reconcile heaven and earth. Christ Himself knew when it was His time to begin His ministry, and when it was His time to go to the cross. This is why Jesus went willingly when the Roman soldiers came to take him away.
In thinking about the Feast of Unleavened Bread, I am in awe of a few things. It is impossible to be righteous without Christ which most of us understand and is why we ask Jesus to be our Savior. But it is equally impossible to try and be a “perfect” Christian. If you have ever tried to edit a book, or made sure a room was germ free, or cleaned your house, you know how hard it is to get it completely free of dirt, errors, or invaders. Getting rid of the leaven in our lives as Christians is all a part of the journey of “sanctification.”
Even though Jesus covers our sins, the wages of sin (death) has not been removed from our bodies as of yet. We can rest knowing that JESUS was without ANY leaven. HE alone is perfection. And in Him, we can abide in His perfection. But it takes time for our soul to understand this truth. And it will take Jesus coming back until we get bodies that have NO death in them but are a reflection of His glory.
The greatest difference between the Old and New Covenant is this: In the Old Covenant, man was trying to work at meeting the requirements of Covenant with God. But in the New Covenant, man rests in the knowledge that the requirements of Covenant have already been perfected. The Old Covenant places trust in man’s effort. The New Covenant places trust in God’s finished work. When we get to the place in our hearts that we can rest in that knowledge, we have removed the “leaven” from our hearts and are “abiding in Christ alone!”