A Question I Was Asked:

Surely Your Conclusion About Leavened Bread for Communion is Wrong?

The Question:

Your article on communion bread, leavened or unleavened, was clear and helped me to understand the body of Christ's status quo. [However], you failed to mention that Jesus was without sin. So if the bread represents His body we know His body was without sin. When the saints take the bread and don't care if it has leaven or not it is like they don't care if they walk in sin or not. It is like the leadership is giving the message, "It doesn't matter!" It does matter! We all, as believers, need to walk in obedience to honor His name, we are reminded of His perfect life without the leaven of sin. The representation of unleavened bread in communion represents a life without sin, it reminds us that ... we [need to] keep our hearts clean of unforgiveness and [that, in taking] ... communion, we are reminded of our Savior's life, who was without sin.

UK Apologetics Reply:

But it is not an eternal truth that leaven is sin or is 'sinful.' Only in typologies of God's choosing - not yours or mine! Most notably, leaven becomes a type of sin during the Days of Unleavened Bread which physical, national Israelites (being under the old covenant) were to observe - but not you and I!

As an example, the kingdom of heaven itself is likened to leaven in Matthew 13:33! Read it!

In that parable, leaven becomes a good and Godly thing. In itself 'leaven' - usually referring to yeast - is not sinful, it is spiritually neutral. You equate unleavened bread with the purity of Christ, but in Matthew 13 the opposite would appear to be the case; leaven is then associated with the Kingdom of Heaven itself! Your approach is to look too closely at the thing and lose sight of the spiritual meaning of the thing.

So your comments are interesting and I read them with care and respect, but you end up reading things into Scripture which are just not there! With great respect, it is not about your opinions re: leavened and unleavened bread, but about what the Scripture states - or what it does not state. Where and when leavened bread is taken as a type of sin in Scripture one must respect that, but at other times that is not the case. Fact is: the bread used by Jesus at the Last Supper is described in the Gospels as 'artos' - that is normal bread. Whereas unleavened bread might possibly have been used (because during that feast nothing else was possibly available), the inspired gospels choose to refer to 'artos' when they could have quite easily used the Greek for unleavened bread. This is not just my opinion but the overwhelming majority of Bible scholars who have closely looked at this have come to the same conclusion. Some of these people have been expert Greek scholars.

Therefore Jesus appears to have fulfilled and concluded the Jewish use of unleavened bread at Passover. That should not surprise us since Passover itself was fulfilled and concluded by Jesus, Who introduced His true disciples to Christian communion/eucharist. He Himself is the paschal lamb 'without blemish.' Obviously normal bread is now fine for eucharist/communion otherwise the Gospel accounts would surely have made that clear. Did the Jewish disciples still keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread after that? Possibly yes, but we do know that they did not do so for very long. Gentile believers never kept it.

If, for reasons of your conscience, you wish to only eat unleavened bread at communion, that is your choice. You could either do this at home or attend a particular group that do use such bread. Catholicism uses unleavened wafers but only for Catholics attending 'mass.' But be very careful: certain groups which insist on using unleavened bread also hold various erroneous/fanatical beliefs!

You accuse me of failing to mention that Jesus was without sin, but I should think that that is obvious to all of us. My article did not address the sinlessness of Jesus but the matter of communion bread!

The trouble - it appears to me - is that you appear to want to partly remain under the old covenant with its duties/ordinances, such as Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Why is your focus on bread and not on Christ and the New Covenant? Nevertheless, if this is a matter of your conscience, by all means use unleavened bread at communion.

But beware of Legalism. 'Legalism' is to add rules and laws to the Bible which are not there, or even to overly-stress prohibitions which are there, but were for another time and place.

Robin A. Brace. April 14th, 2012.