Originally, Passover was only one day, then followed by several days called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Today, the two holidays are combined and the entire week is called Passover.
“Unleavened bread,” in Hebrew is not two words but one: matzah. What does the bible say about this bread? Deuteronomy 16:3 says, “Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction….” If you haven’t eaten Matzah for seven days in a row, you might not realize how much of a affliction it is. This is the kind of bread that makes a three-day Esther Fast (no food or water) seem like fun!
These pieces of cardboard aren’t just flat in shape–they’re flat, flat, flat in taste. I can tolerate matzah—for the first two days.
But it’s amazing what you can do with matzah to lessen the affliction. At Passover seders hosted by Ashkenazi Jews there will Matzah ball soup. It’s pretty good! Several years ago, my wife Ann found a way to make matzah brownies. But matzah pancakes have to be my favorite.
The Jewish people are commanded to eat unleavened bread not just to remind them of their affliction in Egypt and their hasty exodus. The apostle Paul (Shaul the Rabbi) says that matzah also should remind us that there must be no sin in the camp–and sin in our own individual lives. This is what he writes in 1 Corinthians 5:7: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”
To know more about how to make sure you’re kosher for Passover watch my sermon at King of Kings Community in Jerusalem