First Baptist Church St. Marys
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Unleavened Bread

What's the deal with Unleavened Bread for the Lord's Supper?

Unleavened bread is first found in the Old Testament when the Hebrew people were fleeing Egypt in the book of Exodus. It symbolizes the Israelites’ hurry as they escaped from slavery in Egypt. It symbolizes when the Holy Spirit “passed over” the Jews homes and spared their lives. Then on the night before they could leave Egypt, there wasn’t enough time for letting the bread rise so they made unleavened bread. According to the scriptures, the Israelites fled “immediately.” They made their bread without yeast because they couldn’t wait.

God commanded the Israelites to commemorate this fateful event by celebrating the feast of unleavened bread. By eating this kind of bread, they will always remember the victory that God gave them to enter the Promised Land. The feast of Passover is celebrated for seven days, just as the Israelites ate this type of bread for seven days.

But yeast – or leaven – also represents sin. Just as yeast affects the entire dough and causes it to rise, sin spreads and makes its way to its host, which eventually impacts not just an individual but also an entire community, church, and nation. This is why in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he warns the people about the effect of leaven that “leavens the entire lump.” ​Because of this, in the New Testament, the people celebrated Passover or the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a way to rid themselves of leaven that was referred to as a symbol of sin.

When Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples (just hours before His betrayal and death and resurrection), they ate unleavened bread. Because it is by nature dense and chewy, it is often torn and used to dip into the other foods served at the Passover meal. In John 13 we read about the conversation and the bread: “25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, is it I?” 26 Jesus answered, ‘It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.’ So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.” John 13:25-26 ESV.

The basic recipe for Unleavened Bread is simply three ingredients: flour, water and salt. 2 cups flour, 1 cup cool water, and a teaspoon of salt will make 8 rounds about 6-7 inches in diameter, or about 16 rounds 3-4 inches around. It’s easy to cut in half – 1 cup of flour, ½ cup water and ½ teaspoon salt.

Mix it together, and knead for a few minutes, adding a little bit of flour on your board to keep from getting too sticky. Cut it into however many pieces you want. Make balls of the dough, then flatten and roll out to the size you want.

Cook them on an ungreased griddle or in an ungreased skillet at medium heat. It may only take a minute or two per side depending on your heat, or it could take two minutes per side. Stack on a plate and let cool. Store in a bag in the refrigerator.

You can also add some olive oil to your mixture with the water (before mixing the dough). Oil helps bread to be not quite as tough. 4 Tablespoons for the full recipe above. You can also add in a garlic clove and some finely chopped onion (if you are not using it for Lord’s Supper!)  

Besides being used for Passover or the Lord’s Supper, you can eat it as a regular flatbread.

  • Top with hummus and chopped fresh vegetables for a perfect lunch treat.
  • Top with cheese and peppers for an appetizer, broil to melt cheese.
  • Use as a crust for personal pizzas.

Don’t feel like going to the trouble? Get some unleavened Tandoor bread at the store. The point is, "as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of Me."