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Voice of the Lord

He was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins (Isaiah 53:5).

Jewish Date


One of the most striking symbols of the traditional Pesach seder (Passover service) is the special holder for the three matzot (sheets of unleavened bread). Known for generations as the matzah tash (unleavened bread holder), this ritual bag contains three separate compartments, each of which holds a piece of matzah. The rabbis have debated the original meaning of this rather unusual custom, which dates back perhaps two thousand years. The consensus has been that the matzah tash represents some kind of unity. Some consider it the unity of our forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Another view speculates that the matzah tash represents the unity of our people Israel: the cohen (priest), the Levite and the Israelite.

Adding to the mystery is the fact that during the seder we take out the middle matzah, break it in two, wrap it in a napkin, and hide it, to be found later. One half of the broken matzah is given a special name: the Afikomen (Coming One). While earlier explanations fall short of explaining the mystery of the three-in-one unity of the matzah tash, the Messianic view is intriguing.

Many believe it was the middle matzah that Yeshua took out at his last seder. After breaking it, as was customary, he shared it with his disciples, adding "This is my body, which is being given for you" (Luke 22:19). The Afikomen depicts what the Mashiach (Messiah) came to do on our behalf.

Like the matzah, he was "pierced" and "broken" as he died for the sins of Israel and for all nations. He was "wrapped" and hidden in a burial tomb, only to "reappear" at his resurrection! As the name implies, the "Coming One" will return to establish his Kingdom. Perhaps the Afikomen is not so mysterious after all!

...give thanks for the rich customs which remind me of what God has done for me through his Son, Yeshua.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright © 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.

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