Friday, March 29, 2013

A Deeper Meaning

Sunday night before last, our church had a speaker, a Christian Jew who talked about the Christ in Passover. I found it fascinating, and have been wanting to comment on it. Since there was so much information, I am just going to focus on the matzo crackers that are fresh in my mind from eating some at work yesterday. Every Passover our Jewish psychiatrist brings them in along with some butter as a way of sharing her heritage and customs with us. Rather than my trying to explain, I copied this info from another site.

First of all, let's take a look at the matzo itself. They look about like a typical saltine cracker, although they are a little darker, and about six inches square. When you look at the ingredients on the box, you will find it says: "wheat flour, and water." That's it, nothing else in there. Jesus told his disciples to "watch out for the yeast (leaven) of the pharisees" (Mt 16:6). Yeast, or any type of leaven in the Bible is symbolic of sin. So by eating unleavened bread, the Jews are symbolically removing sin from their lives.
Jesus was the only one without sin (Heb 4:15). So, the matzo is representing His life without sin. When they make the matzos, they roll out the dough, and make rows of holes in it, to help it cook. Jesus too, was "pierced for our transgressions." When it is cooked, and it is roasted to cook it, the dough between the rows of holes become brown strpes, while the dough where the holes are remains beige. Isaiah said of Jesus that "by His stripes we are healed." (Isa 53:5).
So, in everything we see looking at the matzo, there is a reminder of Jesus' body, sinless, striped, pierced for us. But that's not all.
As part of the Passover meal, there is a plate with three unbroken matzos on it. During the course of the celebration, these are stacked up and placed into a white linen bag, kind of like an envelope. Then the middle one is withdrawn, the other two being set aside. These three represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Of the three, only the Son is brought out where man may look upon Him.
This middle matzo is broken in half. Jesus too, was broken for us. Of the broken matzo, half is wrapped in a linen napkin. This is called the afikomen. Well, after Jesus had died, Joseph of Arimathaea came and asked Pilate for His body. Then "he took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth" (Mt 27:59).
Sometime during the meal, the father, who is the leader of the Passover celebration, takes the afikomen and hides it. This is symbolic of Joseph who took Jesus body, "and laid it in his own new tomb that he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed" (Mt 27:60).
However, it doesn't stay hidden. At the end of the meal, all the children (12 and under) are sent in search of the afikomen. Whoever finds it brings it to the father who unwraps it. He holds it up so all can see, and he says "the afikomen has been found." God, the Father, didn't allow Jesus' body to remain wrapped in the linen either, He unwapped Jesus and brought Him back to life for us. He too has been brought out for all to see so that as He is lifted up, all men might be drawn to Him (John 12:32).
The child who finds the afikomen gets a prize. Of course, we know, that whoever finds the true afikomen, Jesus the Christ, finds the true prize of eternal life.

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