This beautifully embroidered linen bag is used by Jewish families around the world as they celebrate Pesach each year. It has three compartments or sections within it where three pieces of matzah bread are placed.
The Matzah Tash has become a very important part of the seder meal ranking alongside the seder dish containing the roasted shank bone, two types of bitter herbs, roasted egg, charoset (apple sauce mixture) parsley and salted water.
So where did the Matzah Tash come from and what are its origins?
It was certainly not a part of the original Passover Meal partaken of by the Hebrews coming out of Egypt and nor was it on the table when our Lord Yeshua took His final meal on this earth!
The only items on the table would have been the meat, the bitter herbs, the unleavened bread and the wine along with some lamps and plates/bowls and cups.
It was the bread and the wine that our Messiah took to represent His body given for us as the last and great atonement for our sins. Truly He was the paschal Lamb, our kiporah scapegoat.
The Matzah Tash then was obviously introduced sometime after the death and resurrection of our Messiah.
I personally believe this was introduced by believing Jews who had confessed Yeshua as their Moshiach and wanted something that reflected His great sacrifice within this memorial meal. He had indeed rescued them from bondage and brought them out from the slavery of their sins and trepasses. They now had a new covenant as foretold in Jeremiah 31:31 to keep and walk in, ‘for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty’. (2 Cor 3:17)
Rabbinic Judaism is rather silent over why the middle piece of the three pieces of matzah bread is broken. A part of it is hidden for a while, found and then partaken of after the meal is over. (This is known as the Afikomen, it is a Greek word and is the only gentile word within this Jewish meal of remembrance). The usual answer given about the breaking and then partaking of a small piece of the Afikomen is to remember the passover lamb being slain. As we are about to discover it is indeed about remembering the Lamb of God – slain for us all, Jew and Gentile. The inclusion of a gentile word speaks of the inclusion of any gentile accepting the one true and Living God and His way of salvation through the promised Messiah, foretold by the prophets of old. Our Lord Yeshua/Jesus has fulfilled the prophecies of the Suffering Servant and will return to fulfil the prophecies regarding the Reigning and Ruling King. He is to sit on David’s Throne as promised and bring real peace at last for Israel and the world.
What is staggering is the meaning of this gentile word – Afikomen. To the Jewish family it simply means dessert as it is eaten after the main meal
when the dessert would normally be eaten. So it is known as ‘that which comes later’………. This Greek word afikomen is in actual fact the second aorist form of the Greek verb ikneomai and its meaning is electrifying, for it means – ‘I came’. So Moshiach came once as the Son of Joseph to redeem and give the gift of eternal life to all who accept Him and then He is to come again as the Son of David to rescue His people after the flesh, for the nations will eventually come against Israel as the prophets of the Tenach wrote. These same prophets wrote that Elijah is to come again and so why not Messiah! Both were Prophets and both were taken up to Heaven and both are to return.
Quite simply then we have an allegorical picture of our Messiah’s body being broken, hidden (buried) for a while (3 days) and then brought forth. Every Jew is unconsciously taking part in the communion without realising it! One day of course they shall all realise and ‘all Israel shall be saved’ as it is written in Romans 11:26. What joy there must have been in Shaul’s heart and mind as he wrote those wonderful words in his epistle.
The three compartments within the Matzah Tash bag are seen to reflect the Law, the Prophets and the Writings by some Rabbis. Others see the High Priest then the Levites and then the people of Israel. Still others see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the three main patriarchs. Then within the Midrashic homilies we have the opinion that these 3 compartments reflect three thoughts, the Crown of Learning, Service and Rejoicing.
But why is the middle piece broken into two? Why is it wrapped in a cloth?
Why is it hidden? Why does everyone have to take a small piece when it is brought back?
To those who know the truth which has indeed set them free as our Lord Yeshua said it would, see a representation of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three being one in essence (echad) yet being seen separately and yet joined together. The rear of the Matzah bag is joined but the front is open to reveal 3 sections! We have to come in through the front door and Yeshua (Jesus) said He was that door. He is the only way to Heaven. See John 14:6 and Acts 4:12.
So again we must ask, why is the middle piece of matzah, which is striped and pierced under rabbinic instruction broken? This is surely reflecting the truth of Isaiah chapter 53 verse 5.
‘But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised
for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him;
and with His stripes we are healed.’
Our blessed Messiah took the wounds upon His body, He was truly pierced through the nails and the spear penetrating His body and striped by the cruel whipping prior to His crucifixion by the Romans. Afterwards He was lovingly wrapped in a burial cloth, hidden for a while and then found. Jewish children play a game to find the hidden ‘afikomen’ (‘that which comes later’ and truly He will as it is written) and the one who finds it receives a prize with joy! What greater joy can there be than realising that this all shows His great sacrifical love in being the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. 1 Peter 1:19-20.
But as the scriptures attest, we all allowed His death, we have all gone astray from the Lord’s ways as Isaiah 53 verse 6 teaches us. That is why He sacrificed Himself for us, His precious royal blood atoned for us. If we will only receive and then repent, He will gladly renew and restore us into fellowship with God. The breaking of the middle piece of Matzah bread therefore represents the body of our Messiah. He himself said, “This is my body (holding the matzah) broken for you.”
Dear reader, if you know not the Holy One, Yeshua HaMashiach, Sar Shalom ve Melech Yisrael (Jesus the Messiah, the Prince of Peace and King of Israel) ask Him into your life. Confess your sins and receive the wonderful gift of eternal life through Him. Amen.
Date : 30/11/-0001