Tag Archives: afikomen

Passover and the Easter Vigil

The descent from crossIllustration:  “The descent from cross,” by Marc Chagall, oil on canvas, 1968-76.

“When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away” (Matthew 27:57-60).

There is more to examine in the tradition of the matzoh tosh. Our walk is not yet finished. Jesus has paid our penalty, but the tomb remains sealed.

In the Passover Seder, half of the middle matzoh has been removed from the matzoh tosh and has been wrapped in linen and hidden away. This is called the afikomen, which means “that which comes after.” This has been interpreted as the last thing that is eaten at the Passover meal.   It is traditional to hide this linen-wrapped bread somewhere in the house and during the meal all the children search the house for the afikomen. (The one who finds it and presents it to papa receives a gift, but the child must wait 50 days to receive the gift, which is presented at the festival of Shavuot. The gift is usually their first Hebrew Scriptures.) Then papa takes the afikomen and unwraps it, breaks it and distributes it with the third cup of wine after the meal. It is the afikomen and the cup of redemption that symbolize our redemption by God from slavery.

It is likely that the afikomen  was the bread that Jesus shared on His last night at the meal.  After all, whose body is it that lies hidden away, wrapped in linen, waiting to be found by those who would search? Those who find Jesus will receive a gift at the festival of Shavuot, which is also called Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit comes into those who believe in Jesus.

Prayer:  Abba, Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. You have guided me on this walk, and blessed me through Your Son, my Messiah. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.

Ponder the path:  As we look forward to the glorious resurrection, remember  someone who has never seen the empty tomb.   Invite them to join you on your walk tomorrow.

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