A. Converting a Prohibition into an Obligation
During Passover, chametz is absolutely forbidden (Source 1). After Passover, The Torah commands us to count seven weeks and then, on Shavuot, to bring a special offering, made specifically of chametz (Source 2). Sefer Hachinuch gives a detailed description of the baking of the offering (Source 3), and the talmud describes the process of waving, as well as explaining the merit and blessing the offering provided. (Source 4)
The Rebbe asks a basic question: If chametz was so terrible just a few weeks ago, how did it get promoted to being a sacrifice in the Holy Temple?!
B. From Belief to Real Transformation
As you surely learned over Passover, chametz represents ego while matzah represents humility (Source 5). However, the Alter Rebbe adds something else: chametz represents rationalization, while matzah represents simple faith (Source 6). The Exodus took place as a sublime revelation which the people weren’t really ready to internalize, as they had just left a place of extreme impurity. Their ‘intellect’ wasn’t ready to agree, and it was only after seven weeks of internal improvement that they were able to internalize, understand, and feel this revelation.
C. A Personal Journey
The Rebbe explains that this is the basic journey from Passover to Shavuot. At the outset, we embrace G-d out of simple faith while eradicating all chametz, but after refining ourselves during the Omer Counting, we become ready to bring our intellect and feeling along, using them to commit ourselves to G-d and to make G-d’s will our own.