A Passover Seder in the Light of Christ
BREAKING OF THE MIDDLE MATZO AND THE AFIKOMAN
Now comes one of the more mysterious parts of the Seder, and one with particular significance from a Christian viewpoint. Three Matzos are on the table in a special white covering called the matzo toff , or Unity. The middle matzo is removed and broken. One half is wrapped and hidden, and later redeemed for a reward. It is called the Afikoman, a Greek word meaning that which is to come. This tradition has been celebrated for thousands of years. For us it is a beautiful picture. Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity, left Heaven and came to earth in two natures, divine and human. In His humanity he was broken for us on the Cross. Like the afikoman, He was wrapped in linen the shroud and hidden away in a tomb. On the third day He rose again, and those who find him truly receive a great reward, the greatest known to Man Eternal Life.
(Uncover the matzo and lift up the plate for all to see. Then recite the following:)
ALL: This is the bread of affliction which our forefathers ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry let them come and eat. All who are needy let them come and celebrate the Passover with us. Now we are here; next year may we be in the Promised Land. Now we are slaves; next year may we be free men.
In ancient Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke:
Ha lachma anya dee aochaolu aovaohaosaona
Although tragically Israel is still waiting, we know that the promise that the hungry shall eat and the slaves shall be free has already been fulfilled. From Luke 4:
(Now the Afikoman is hidden)
(From The Hebrew Catholic, #73, Winter 2000-2001. All Rights Reserved.)
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