But he was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him, and by his bruises we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:5, CJB
Then came the day of matzah, on which the Passover lamb had to be killed. Yeshua sent Kefa and Yochanan, instructing them, ‘Go and prepare our Seder, so we can eat. …As you’re going into the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house he enters… He will show you a large room upstairs already furnished; make the preparations there.’ They went and found things just as Yeshua had told them they would be, and they prepared for the Seder. …Then, taking a cup of wine, he made the b’rakhah and said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.’ Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, ‘This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.’ He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, ‘This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.’ ~ Luke 22:7-8, 10, 12-13, 17-20, CJB
This year’s Passover began at sundown on March 25, 2013 and ends at sundown on April 2, 2013. Passover commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. According to the biblical narrative, after the Israelites left Egypt, from 15 Nissan to 22 Nissan, they ate flat unleavened bread or matzah, which also is called the food of faith. Now matzah not only symbolizes faith, but also it represents an afflicted Lord whose body was bruised, beaten, whipped, and eventually crucified and pierced (broken).
During a Jewish Passover Seder meal, after the blessings and the first cup of wine, the washing of hands, and the appetizer, there is the breaking of the middle matzah. Three pierced and striped matzot are stacked on the Passover Seder table, and many people accept that these three pieces of matzah also represent the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Be that as it may; usually, during the Passover Seder meal, the Jewish father removes the middle matzah, breaks it, and puts the smaller piece of the broken middle matzah back in the stack between the other two matzot. He then wraps in linen and hides the larger half of this broken middle matzah, for his children to find after the Seder meal has been eaten.
It is important to note here that, symbolically speaking, not only does this literally pierced and striped broken middle matzah additionally represent the bread of affliction, but also, as previously mentioned, it figuratively represents a broken and afflicted Christ Jesus (the Passover Lamb). This wrapped in linen and then hidden matzah is called the afikoman (also spelled afikomen), which means “that which comes after.” It should be clear that this afikoman also represents the burial of the crucified Lord, whose body was bruised for the world’s iniquities, whose back bore the stripes of the punishment meant for all sinners, and whose side was pierced so that His cleansing blood and living water could gush out onto and into this sin-sick world.
Now what also is important about this afikoman is that after the food on the Passover Seder table has been eaten, the children look for the hidden afikoman. When it is found, since it is the last item of food to be eaten during the Passover Seder meal, this afikoman is treated like dessert, only it is not sweet. Traditionally, after the family eats the afikoman no other food may be eaten for the rest of the night.
It should be obvious that God purposely intended that the physical appearance of the matzah, with its piercings (holes), stripes (rows), brown spots from baking, and no leaven, would resemble the pierced, striped, and bruised body of Christ Jesus, who was without sin. God allowed this affliction to come upon the Lord so that He could ransom lost souls, as well as purchase every believer’s healing. Then a full of Grace and Mercy God, by way of His Holy Spirit, resurrected His only begotten Son.
For these reasons, Christians (Gentiles and Jews) can rejoice during the Passover/Unleavened Bread festivities, because they know that after their Savior spent three nights and three days in the grave, their crucified and buried Lord arose on the Feast of Firstfruits as The Firstfruits of those who have died (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22). For sure, just like God raised a striped, bruised, crucified and pierced (broken) Christ Jesus from the dead, the dead in Christ also will rise, receive their glorified bodies, and meet Him in the air, and they will be followed by the raptured glorified alive in Christ (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
Put differently, the hidden afikoman is dessert indeed, for it represents to Christians that the once crucified, dead and buried, but now risen Lord will come for His Bride, as well as come on the clouds for the entire world not only to see but also to worship Him. Truly that is a sweet dessert, way better for the body, soul, and spirit than the healthy but bland afikoman! Hallelujah!
To everyone who observes this eight-day Passover festival, have a very happy and kosher Passover!