Counting of the Omer

Written on 12/02/2018
Rose Horton

What season are we in? We just celebrated Passover. Pentecost is coming. Are we celebrating? 


On thing amazing about celebrating the Biblical Feasts and the calendar that God designed is the symbolism. The days between Passover and Pentecost are the counting of the Omer. "Counting of the what?" you may ask. 


This period between Passover and Pentecost is not the easiest to explain, but hopefully this article with bring some new understanding. It is in the Bible. Let's start with Passover.


Most people understand Passover as the time of year when the Israelites remember their deliverance from Egypt. For those who believe Jesus is their Messiah, they understand that Jesus is the Passover Lamb who took all their sins and delivered them from the bondage of sin and death. Passover is not to difficult to explain and more people are recognizing that it is not just a Jewish holiday. This article takes us past Passover.


On the day following the Sabbath of Passover the Lord commanded that a sheaf of new corn be waved by the priest before the altar. This is in Leviticus 23:5,6,10,12. This celebration is called the early first fruits. In Israel there are many "fruits" that are ready to be harvested during this season in Spring. Barley and wheat are two of them. The farmers take the first fruits of their crops to the priest so it can be waved before the Lord. 


This day is a day that many miracles happened for the Israelites.


As you can see, the last one is the fact that Jesus rose on this day. We should be able to see the symbolism of Jesus being our first fruits wave offering. He brings us before the Lord. We can see that His resurrection brings us to a closer relationship with God the Father. 


Once first fruits has been celebrated, it is time to start counting the Omer. Why would they do this?


In the wilderness, they were told to wait for the Torah to be given to them. This happened 50 days after Passover. They were joyfully waiting to see what God had to show them. They counted as they waited. 


Once 50 days passed, they were required to bring another first fruits offering. This one was bread made from the grain they had waved 50 days before. 


When Jesus ascended into heaven after 40 days, He told the disciples to wait. The interesting thing to note is, the disciples were in the middle of counting the Omer. They were already celebrating the fact that they were delivered from Egypt, were preparing to celebrate the giving of the Torah, and preparing to bring their first fruits wave offering. They were in a season of anticipation. Because they were living the calendar God created, the had a sense that something was going to happen. 


This is an anticipation we miss today. When the world was given easter as the day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we lost the calendar God created. We lost the ability to truly connect with what God does in times and seasons. 


So, what happened at the end of the 50 days? The disciples were together. They were celebrating the Torah being given. They were celebrating the first fruits. They were giving thanks for the provisions God had blessed them with. As they were gathered, the Holy Spirit fell. The Holy Spirit came in the room and filled them. They spoke in unknown tongues. They suddenly had a power and authority they did not know before.


This holiday is still celebrated in some denominations today, but many denominations do not speak of it or celebrate it. It is definitely not a highly recognized celebration. Why?


If people chose to follow the calendar of God, this would be a season of anticipation. A looking forward of what is to come. 


Some may argue that we should be doing this all the time... and this is true. However, just as we look forward to birthdays, anniversaries, and other memorable events, how much more should we anticipate the commands of God. He told the disciples to wait. He then sent Someone great to be their guide and comforter. 


 Counting the Omer and anticipating the celebration of when the Holy Spirit came.