1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened…
I. OUR PASSOVER SACRIFICE. The death of the paschal lamb saved at least one life in the household, and was the security of them all. Because it died, the firstborn did not die. The blood sheltered and preserved; and the angel passed over the household whose posts were tinctured with the ruby pledge of safety. And so, distinctly and clearly in the apostle's mind here, the one conception of Christ's death which answers to this metaphor is that which sees in Christ's death a death of expiation; though not so distinctly as in other instances, a death of substitution. Because He dies, the destruction and punishment does not fall on the man who is housed behind the shelter of His blood.
II. OUR PASSOVER FEAST. The slaying of the lamb provided in the old ritual the material for the feast; and, says Paul, in effect, so it is with us. The Christ who has died as a sacrament is the nourishment and food of our souls. We live on the sacrifice; "let us keep the feast." What Paul is thinking about here is the whole Christian life which he compares to that passover feast. And his exhortation, "Let us keep the feast," is, in fact, first of all, this — Do you Christian men and women see to it that your whole life be a participation in the sacrifice of the slain Lamb. "Except ye eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, ye have no life in you." And how are we to feed upon a slain Christ? By faith, by meditation, by continual carrying in grateful hearts, in vivid memories, and in obedient wills, the great sacrifice on which our hopes build. Let your minds feed upon His truth, and your love feed upon His love; let your wills feed upon His commandment; let your consciences feed upon His great cleansing sacrifice; let your whole hopes fasten on His faithful promise; and bring your spirits in all their parts into contact with His Spirit, and the life will pass from Him to you. As our Christian life should be all a feast of continual participation in Christ, so it should be all a memorial of Him. The passover was the perpetual calling to mind year by year of that great deliverance. What tenacity of national memory is shown in that continual observance of it till this very day! So should we ever carry in our remembrance the dying of the Lord Jesus, and whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, do all in memory of Him, moulding all our lives by the pattern and for the sake of His dying love.
III. OUR CHRISTIAN PURIFYING. "Purge out the old leaven." Think of the scrupulous Jewish householder the night before the passover, with his lighted candle, searching through every corner of his house, where there was any chance of a bit of leavened matter being concealed. That is the sort of thing we have to do. Better cultivate a conscience that is over-scrupulous than one that is over-indulgent. And, mind, it is you that have to do it. God will do it if you ask Him; God will help you to do it if you will let Him; but God cannot do it without you, and you cannot do it without God. Therefore, two things, a large part of our cleansing must be our submitting ourselves to His cleansing and cultivating the faith which unites us to the cleansing power. Second, a part of our cleansing must be in reliance upon His Divine help, ourselves taking the brush into our hands, and ourselves scrubbing vigorously till we get rid of the pollution. And, beyond that, remember further, that this self-purifying is an absolutely indispensable condition of your keeping the feast. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" is but the same teaching as that of my text: "Purge out the old leaven, that ye may keep the feast."
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: