Recently a question came up, “What is the square cracker like food?” referring to a picture of Matzot. This blog is a response to what it is and represents.
In this blog we will attempt to cover the basic and intermediate level of what Matzot is in addition to give you the role it plays during a Passover Seder (meal).
First, most people (especially in the Christian environment) remember Matzot primarily for its use at the annual or weekly Eucharist (aka as communion).
During this sacrament those that observe usually attribute the matzot to body of the Messiah;
1Co_11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Nevertheless, since we are wanting to communicate a Messianic Jewish perspective lets look at how both parts of the bible portray Matzot, and then we will look at the seder in the end.
So what is Matzot in the Messianic Jewish Perspective? Matzot:
Matzah, matza or matzo (Yiddish: מצה matsah, Hebrew: מַצָּה matsa; plural matzot; matzos of Ashkenazi Hebrew dialect) is an unleavened flatbread that is part of Jewish cuisine and forms an integral element of the Passover festival, during which chametz (leaven and five grains that, per Jewish Law, can be leavened) is forbidden.
Basically it is a bread that is unleavened (without yeast to a degree).
To fully understand the comprehensiveness of Matzah in the bible one should do a word study on the the word unleavened/leaven.
G-d speaking to Moshe/Moses and Aharon/Aaron gives instructions for the Hag HaMaztah הַג הַמַתזה aka Feast of Unleavened Bread. Yes! There is an annual time period in which we should only eat matzah or unleavened bread.
Exo 12:15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
Exo 12:16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.
Exo 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
Exo 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
Exo 12:19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
Exo 12:20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
With that being said, that is the main purpose for Matzah today. To fulfill that commandment. However, there are other events in the Old Testament that unleavened bread was used such as offerings in the Miskhan/Tabernacle or the Temple.
Lev_2:4 And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.
Lev_2:5 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in a pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil.
These examples can be found repeated in various places throughout the OT as well as examples where prominent people in the Bible upheld the commandment.
As Far as the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the New Testament we find:
Mat 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
Mat 26:18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
Mat 26:19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
Luk 22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
Luk_22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.
Act_12:3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
Act_20:6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.
It is imperative to understand that from the beginning leaven and unleaven bread meant something in the end. As you will see below, leaven represents malice and wickedness, but unleavened bread represents sincerity and truth.
1Co_5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
1Co_5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
So, what does all this mean to us as believers now? Well, for starters every year as prescribed by G-d we are to remove the Chametz aka leaven from our houses. No leaven should be found in our houses for the entire week. Messianic believers do this very thing to fulfill the command literally, but also spiritually. As the week approaches, we are not only looking to throw out the leavened bread we are looking to throw out the wickedness and malice that has grown in our hearts. To bring a sincerity and truth in our hearts. It is a a time to remove wicked doctrines and things unholy within our souls. It is a soul searching week.
One might say we do this everyday! Yes, and you should. However, we are fulfilling G-d’s command to do so annually. Oftentimes we get so caught up in the things of this world that we don’t truly take a deep look at ourselves and match them up with G-d’s word. This week allows us to not only obey the command but to have a very real example to teach our children and families how to search for wickedness, and malice to rid them from our lives and replace them with truth and sincerity.
Some believers may say well we have no need to do this because we have Christ of the Messiah. But the Verse above clearly says “let us keep the feast”
Okay, so what meaning does it have in the Passover Seder?
It is considered the bread of affliction. Specifically Yeshua’s affliction. He was broken for us. It is very similar to communion when eaten during a passover seder. The matzah is usually pierced through like crackers usually are, and it has burn stripes that resemble his passion.