In 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Let us keep the feast,” is the reference to the Lord’s Supper, or is it using the feast of unleavened bread as the background?
The answer lies in the second part of the question. To understand the statement, “let us keep feast,” we need to be aware of the context and background of its setting.
A very serious moral problem had come to light in the Corinthian assembly which warranted excommunication of the individual involved from the company. “Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1Cor 5:13). Paul’s instruction is also defined in the words, “purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump as ye are unleavened” (v7).
This obviously refers to the Jewish feast of unleavened bread which lasted for seven days (Exo 12:15). During this time, no leaven would be seen in an Israelite’s home. In addition to this, Paul says “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (v7). These references clearly indicate that the complete Passover and feast of unleavened bread are in view and form the background to the teaching of this part of 1 Corinthians 5.
It follows, then, that the consistent life of the believer who lives in the age of grace can be defined as being under the keeping of “festival” or “holy day,” and is marked by godliness being sustained by the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. See W. E. Vine’s New Testament Words comment under Strong’s#G1858, “let us keep the feast.” “This is not the Lord’s Supper, nor the Passover, but has reference to the continuous life of the believer as a festival or holy day” (see KJV margin), not living in malice and wickedness, but marked by sincerity and truth.
How important, then, to apply this challenging principle to ourselves, illustrating the demand for holiness in a practical way in every facet of our lives as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. “Be ye holy for I am holy” (1Peter 1:16).
Today, many have little concept of what the Lord demands in the personal and public spheres in the life of a Christian. God help us to keep ourselves pure and unspotted from a careless, corrupt, and carnal world until the Lord returns to call us home.