Posted by: cindybythesea | April 2, 2010

the best picture

Passover    Passover Matzah 

This Saturday evening, I will be teaching on Passover for a group of about 20.  It’s something I’ve done a number of times over the years and the joy in the preparation is something I can only describe as heavenly.  I love Passover for its special food, the beautiful table setting, and the closeness of friends and family;  but, most of all, I love  Passover, because it points so perfectly to Jesus, our Passover Lamb.   With all the talk about the shroud of Turin this week and the revealing of the real face of Jesus on the History Channel special,  I couldn’t help but, think during this very special week of Passover, that anyone who has ever been to a Passover Seder before, has already seen the best picture of the Messiah this side of heaven.

On every Passover table is Matzah, the unleavened bread of Passover.  Leaven is yeast, the stuff that makes bread rise.  Unleavened bread is used at Passover in remembrance of the hasty  flight the Israelites made out of Egypt –  “On this night, we eat only unleavened bread, why?”  “Because our forefathers had to flee Egypt in haste and there was no time for bread to rise.” 

Leaven in the Bible is symbolic of sin; sin like leaven puffs things up, in other words, pride.  When Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” he wasn’t talking about bread from our local Supermarket.   Jesus was talking about the unleavened bread of Passover, the Matzah.  Just as Matzah is without leaven, so Jesus our bread of life is with out the leaven of sin.

PhotobucketA close up view of Matzah

 If you have never seen a loaf of Matzah close up, take a look at the one in this photo.  And, yes one flat looking cracker is referred to as a loaf.  Passover Matzah is distinctive for three features.  1) It is without leaven  2) It has distinctive markings which appear across it as stripes or grill marks and it has a bruised appearance  3) It is also, pierced on one side. 

Matzah can be eaten anytime of year, but, Passover Matzah must have these distinctive characteristics to be considered kosher or fit for Passover use.  This is so important, that Matzah to be used for Passover is actually inspected by Rabbi’s for these very distinctive markings.  If you look on the side of a box of Passover Matzah, it will say both where it was inspected and by whom.  This is serious business!   They must have these markings!  The box I have in my kitchen right now says: “Under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem Hala selected according to Jewish law.  All equipment throughly cleaned during production. (Cleaned to make sure it was free of leaven).  Amazing, when you think about it!   Consider these verses: 

 Isaiah 53:5, “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, by his stripes, we are healed.” And as it says in John 19:34, “But, one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side and forthwith came there out, blood and water.”

    the best picture

Every year when I teach at Passover, I hold up a loaf of Matzah and say, “this is the best picture of Jesus you will ever see, this side of Heaven”.   And, its true.  Matzah is the perfect representation of Him.  Jesus, the unleavened bread of Passover, Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, the House of Bread. 

When I sit at the Passover table Saturday evening, the Matzah is just one of a whole host of things I will be speaking about.  The Passover Seder is replete with symbolism  that points specifically to Jesus as the Passover lamb and the fulfillment of its promise.   To think, that God has preserved the beautiful picture of his Son and our redemption in this way over these many  thousands of years is more than amazing.  Bowing down in worship, all I can say is – 

“Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!  Amen and Amen!!   Rev. 5:12 

* Some versions of this page may have an error that I have not been able to correct. If one of the center paragraphs is missing a couple of lines, click here for the better version.    https://cindybythesea.wordpress.com/

Happy Passover and Happy Resurrection Sunday to all of you!  Waiting and watching with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!   Cindy

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Responses

  1. Dear Cindy,
    Is there a book you would recommend for a Christian family who would like to learn more about Passover and how it points to Jesus?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Sheri, Thank you for asking, it really blesses my heart when someone shows an interest in Passover. I started learning about Passover through the ministry of Zola Levitt, a Messianic Jew, Zola has since passed away, but, his ministry continues. If you google Zola Levitt Ministries, I am sure you would find some excellent resources. Jews for Jesus or Chosen People Ministries would also have some great information. Let me know what you find out. Grace and Blessings! Cindy

  2. This year I have been trying to figure out how best to celebrate Resurrection Sunday by incorporating Passover into it (we missed our normal Passover due to Spring Break and mismanaging life). Reading your post brought it all together. The matzah is such a beautiful picture of both the Cross and Passover. What an incredible way of sharing with my family the meaning of Yahshua’s resurrection with the power of the blood of Passover and the Cross. Thank you.

    • Hi Connie, Thank you! I just got home from teaching on Passover and what a wonderful evening it was! You’re right, it is such a beautiful picture of our redemption. A very Happy Resurrection Sunday to you and your family! Grace and blessings! Cindy

  3. Question….if the Passover is a Jewish tradition, where is Jesus in this tradition for the Jews?

    • Hi Sue, Thanks for asking. Passover as you know dates back to the time of the Exodus from Egypt, when God delivered the Israelites from the bondage of slavery by the blood of the Passover Lamb. In recognition of this great deliverance (as commanded by the Bible) Passover is observed every year. The components of the Passover Seder are based on the instructions given in Exodus 12 – all of which point forward to Jesus the Passover Lamb, who would deliver us from sin. It is impossible in a brief e-mail to summarize all the amazing ways Jesus fulfilled Passover, in fact, I spent 3 1/2 hours last night, teaching on this very subject. For instance, at every Passover, the shank bone of a lamb in held up and shown to every one that in keeping with the instructions of Exodus 12, “the lambs bone is not broken.” Now, if you are not a believer, this would seem like an odd requirement, a strange tradition, but, it is so much more than that, for it was actually a prophetic fulfillment. Remember when Roman soldiers came to break the legs of Jesus, but, did not, because he was already dead. This was actually a prophetic fulfillment of Exodus 12. For it says in John 19:36, – “These things happened, so that scripture would be fulfilled “none of his legs will be broken.” For those of us who know Jesus as Messiah, it is obvious that Jesus is who he said he was, – “the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” John 1:29 Something the Passover Seder illustrates beautifully! Grace and blessings! Cindy

  4. Cindy…thanks for your response…i guess i was wondering why the Jewish Passover is celebrated by a gentile, the Israelites were commanded to remember every year(yet they also rejected Jesus)…do you see what i am questioning. Do we pick and chose what Jewish tradition to celebrate…i am in the dark about this…just asking, not judging…it is something new i don’t understand….i’am thinking law vs grace. The church is so limited in what they teach now. Am so thankful for sites like yours…i have no else to ask.

    • Hi Sue, I’m glad you’re asking! Think about it this way, Jesus was Jewish, the disciples were Jewish, almost, if not all of the authors of the books of the Bible were Jewish, so, it only makes sense that the Bible is best understood in the Jewish context in which it was written. Yes, the Jews on a national level rejected Jesus, but, the early church was almost all primarily Jewish until God called Paul (a former Rabbi – in fact, a Rabbi of Rabbi’s) to take the message tothe Gentiles. We are grafted in to them, (Romans 11) – not the other way around. And, although the church at this time is largely made up of Gentiles, God has always maintained a remnant of Jewish people who believe. Most of what you are referring to as Jewish “traditions” find their basis in scripture and the reason they are important to us as Gentiles is that they all point forward to the Messiah. We don’t observe these things as under the law, but, under grace, we are free to enjoy them and experience their beautiful symbolism. One of my favorite Jewish holidays, is the feast of Purim, it’s a celebration of how God delivered the Israelites during the time of Esther from the evil Haman. The story is told usually melodrama style, with lots of cheering for the hero and heroine (Mordecai & Esther) and booing for the villian (Haman). Once I heard the story of Esther told this way, I never forgot it! Happy to help with any questions you may have, feel free to write at any time. Grace and blesssings! Cindy

  5. Hello Cindy,

    Enjoyed reading this. Question ? Is this matzah you say must have these three characteristics produced by Messanic Jews ? We were thinking the Jews as a nation do not believe in Jesus so it would not be the matzah produced in Israel.

    Blessings,

    Rich & Joyce

    [ Hi Rich and Joyce, Thanks for writing! Great question! The fact is ALL Passover Matzah produced in Israel or elsewhere (Messianic or not) MUST have these distinctive markings. The importance of this is so great that each box of Matzah is actually inspected by a certified group of Rabbi’s to ensure that the Matzah being sold for Passover has these markings. Once a box is certified, it is printed on the side of the box so that the buyer knows when they buy it, that they are getting Passover Matzah and not regular Matzah. Regular Matzah may have these markings but it is only Passover Matzah that is inspected to make certain the marking are there. Hope that answers your question! C ]


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