His Towel • Devotion #2: Afikomen

The Last Supper of Jesus was the Seder meal that celebrated something that God had accomplished some 1,500 years earlier. It involved the Passover meal which was soon followed by the crossing through the Red Sea. The more we study these traditions, the more we will be blessed with the highly symbolic elements that are nuggets of truth.

Unleavened bread was used as yeast and can symbolize sin and how it spreads. On the table was a “matzah tosh.” It is a special pouch with three compartments in which a piece of matzah was placed in each section.

The second (middle) piece of unleavened bread (the afikomen) was taken from the matzah tosh during the Seder. The matzah is removed, broken, wrapped in cloth, and is “buried” or hidden from view. This happened early in the meal (which can be a two to three hour time of fellowship, eating, reading, and singing). Later on in the evening, the children would search for the afikomen. Whoever found it would raise it up and take it to the host where they would be given a prize.

The Jews did not know what to do with the word “afikomen.” They assumed it meant “dessert” as it was something that was coming later in the meal. However, the Greek word actually means the “coming one.”

For those of us who know Jesus, it is clear that our Messiah’s sinless body was broken (death), wrapped in a cloth, hidden in burial, and then raised up by the power of God. The one who finds Him will be rewarded with the free gift of eternal life.

I think it is intriguing that people kept these traditions without knowing their fulfillment until they met Jesus the Messiah. There is no other clear explanation for this afikomen.

Please take a fresh look at how Jesus instituted the church’s observance of the Lord’s Supper. Matthew 26:26-29 says,          “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’”

I envision Jesus reaching into matzah tosh (with its three compartments representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), taking out the centerpiece of unleavened bread (afikomen), and showing it to the disciples as their eyes are glued to Him. He then “broke it.” This was not surprising as that was the natural step. He then “gave it to the disciples.” That may have confused them as they knew the process. However, he then turns on the lights when He said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” When I first heard this, my jaw dropped in amazement. I imagine the disciples experienced it then and even more so the next year when they celebrated Passover.

Afikomen means the “coming one.” I want to remind you, He is coming again!

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