We are in the season of the counting of the Omer. Let me explain…
In the book of Leviticus, the Lord gives the festivals, feasts, times and appointments to the Jewish people. It also includes this odd counting that Hashem (“The Name” of the Lord) commands:
“And you shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the Shabbat, from the day that you bring the omer [offering] that is raised, seven complete weeks there shall be until the morrow of the seventh week you shall count fifty days – Leviticus 23:15-16
Every evening from the second night of Passover to the day before Shavuot, is counted another day, marking the 49 days (seven weeks) between these two holidays.
In Judaism this time of counting mirrors the journey of the Jewish people in the desert who spent 49 days between the Exodus (Passover) and the Giving of the Torah (Shavuot).
This period of time is known as Sefirat HaOmer (“Counting of the Omer”) since it begins on the day when the measure of the Barley was offered in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
For Christians this period should be important because there are some meaningful links to the new testament. Yeshua resurrected the same day that the Jewish people were commanded to bring their Omer of barley to the Temple as a wave offering. This day was also known as Firstfruits! Yeshua (Jesus) was resurrected, becoming the Firstfruits for all of us (1 Corinthians 15:20).
For the first 40 days of the counting of the Omer, the disciples talked, walked and ate with their risen Rabbi and Messiah. And they likely did what all Jewish people were doing at that time. At the 40th day of the Omer Yeshua (Jesus) ascended from the Mount of Olives.
By counting the Omer we are not only thinking about this period of time between both festivals (Passover and Shavuot). We are also thinking about the Cross and later the indwelling of G-d’s Spirit empowering us to love and obey His commandments. Let’s remember what happened in Acts chapter 2 in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit was given to Yeshua’s disciples. The event is known as Pentecosts and is assumed to have happened at the same day the Torah (law) was given to Moses at Mt Sinai.
Shavuot and Pentecost are different names for the same day: Shavuot being Hebrew, Pentecost Greek. It is popularly assumed that the giving of the Law at Sinai occurred on Shavuot although this statement is opened for debate in Judaism. Regardless, we can celebrate the given of the Torah (law) and the given of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost! This date is coming in few days, at the 50th day of the Omer.
G-d blessed us not only because He redeemed the Jewish people from Egypt, but he redeemed us individually! He blessed us because His commandments became known among all Nations through Yeshua (Jesus Christ) the Messiah.
Yeshua is the answer to the Jewish prayer that the Torah would be known to all Nations! He is the Messiah of Israel and the world.