One morning, I sat down with a Jewish friend of mine to explore the annual Jewish tradition of hiding the Matzah or Afikomen at Passover. As a Christian believer, the Matzah has always been intriguing because in many various ways it represents Christ. It is unleavened bread. Leaven throughout the Bible was always used to represent sin. Jesus, the Bread of Life, was sinless. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Second, it has many piercings like Jesus had upon the cross – feet, hands, head, and side.(John 20:25 and Isaiah 53:5) Third, the baking process causes stripes. We Christian believers believe many years before Jesus Christ, Isaiah prophesied “By His stripes we were healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
As I heard about the Afikomen, I wanted to explore more about this annual tradition done by Jewish families. I was compelled as she shared insight. At the Passover, there are three pieces of Matzah. The second piece or middle piece is always chosen and separated from the other two. It is then broken and wrapped or placed in a linen cloth and hidden somewhere in close proximity to where the passover is celebrated. Hidden so the children can find it. Hidden yet part of it must be revealed so the children can easily find it. Once found, the children ransom the afikomen for money. She shared usually the children ask for dollar bills but traditionally coins are usually the traditional preferred currency – silver dollar bills she shared.
As this game is played every year at Passover, it can not conclude until the afikomen is found. She shared to save time because years pass the game would last terribly long, they have shortened to game to allow the children to find it quickly.
As she was speaking, my mind was reeling with how this represents Jesus Christ. It begins with three Matzahs with the second Matzah chosen out of the three. This Matzah is Jesus. He is the second of the trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Matzah is then broken. God broke Jesus on the cross so we could be whole inside and out. It is placed in a linen cloth. Jesus was buried in a linen cloth. It is hidden somewhere in close proximity to where the Passover is celebrated. Jesus was hidden or buried in Jerusalem close to where the thousands of Jews where celebrating the Passover. The Matzah is hidden yet my friend shared part of it has to be revealed so the children can easily find it. Is this why our Heavenly Father rolled the stone away so His children could easily find Him, Jesus Christ? After finding the hidden Matzah, the children ransom the afikomen for money yet traditionally it has to be coins and in the US, it is usually a silver dollar bill. Jesus was ransomed for 30 pieces of silver when Judas found and delivered the Bread of Life to the high priest.
Jesus is and has always been our Passover Lamb – the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Now, we can live with the confidence all of our sins – past, present, and future – have not just been covered, not just temporarily atoned for, they have been washed away and permanently blotted out. When Jesus hung on the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, he took all of our mistakes, all of our failures and weaknesses, all of the times we’ve blown it and the times we ever will blow it, and he forgave it. The good news is not that God will forgive you. The good news is he has already forgiven you.
Now, this sacrifice won’t do you any good if you don’t receive Him. If you go around guilty, condemned, trying to pay God back for your mistakes, no, the price has already been paid. Receive his mercy today, saying, “Father, thank you that I am forgiven. Thank you that I am redeemed!”