Why Do We Eat Matzah?

Why Do We Eat Matzah?

A question that is part of the Pesach Hagada, or telling of the Exodus Story, is answered in Exodus 12:
The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, “We will all be dead.” So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders. (v. 33-34)
In the practical sense, the people fled before the bread was able to rise, and eating Matzah commemorates this time.  The Lord commanded that this time of fasting (from from leavened bread) and feasting (on unleavened bread), for seven days, would be an integral part of Pesach:
...seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.  See Deut 16:1-8
And...
Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread...
You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. See Exodus 12:14-20
A Permanent Ordinance...

The weight of these words from scripture sits heavy on my heart.  How about yours?

This is an ordinance that is taken seriously here in Israel!

According to the rabbinic tradition, nothing Hametz, or leavened, is to be eaten during this time.  This even includes certain oat and rice products as well.  Houses are scoured for the smallest crumbs, stores seal up all of their Hametz products, and boxes and boxes of Matzah adorn the aisles.

Here's Matzah for sale at the shuk.

A rigorous process goes into making Matzah.  Rabbinically, it must be cooked at temperatures higher than 600 Degrees F, and from the beginning of the kneeling until its placed in an oven, it must be made in 18 minutes.

Matzah also has three distinctive visual features:  Stripes, bruises, and piercings.  The tradition is that the Jewish people grilled their Matzah, rather than baking because it needed to cook quickly in order for them to flee.  The stripes were left by the grill, the bruises from the flames, and the bread was peirced inorder to hasten its cooking time.  

Can you see the Messiah in the Matzah? 


Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  Isaiah 53:4-5
“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. " Zechariah 12:10

Significantly, Messiah Yeshua broke the Matzah as His body during the Seder feast that has come to be known as the Last Supper (I wrote more about that here).

So...  Why do we eat Matzah?

We eat Matzah to remember the great Exodus from Egypt, but ultimately, we eat Matzah in remembrance of Him, who was and is the bread of life.

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