For most events, we show our anticipation by counting down to the date. For example, “only 3 more days until my birthday” or “6 days until our guests arrive”. But with the Omer count, the count goes up.
From the day after the day of rest – that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving – you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to Adonai. ~~ Leviticus 23: 15-16
We count up from the Feast of Unleavened Bread, specifically from the celebration of first fruits within that feast, to Shavu’ot or Pentecost. Each day is counted: such as Omer 10, Omer 15, etc. The 50th day is Pentecost. Most people think that this celebration began with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Yeshua’s disciples as described in the book of Acts. However, this is an example of how being ignorant of the Hebraic Roots of Christianity can cause confusion and, in all honesty, a surface-level faith. Pentecost was established as a Feast of the Lord back in the book of Leviticus! It is known as the Feast of Weeks or Shavu’ot. Historically, it is known as the time that the law of God was given to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. Doesn’t the description below mirror the scene in Acts when the Holy Spirit comes?
On the morning of the third day, there was thunder, lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain. Then a shofar blast sounded so loudly that all the people in the camp trembled. Moshe (Moses) brought the people out of the camp to meet God; they stood near the base of the mountain. Mount Sinai was enveloped in smoke, because Adonai descended onto it in fire – its smoke went up like the smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the sound of the shofar grew louder and louder, Moshe spoke and God answered him with a voice. ~~ Exodus 19: 16-19
The festival of Shavu’ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. ~~ Acts 2: 1-4
The Omer count was an accepted part of Hebrew culture. It was a time of reflection, introspection and preparation for the next feast, Shavu’ot. Pentecost, as the Christian church commonly calls it, was one of three times each year that all Hebrew males were required to appear in Jerusalem before the Lord. That is why there was such a great crowd in town that day in the second chapter of Acts.
Isn’t it interesting that after Yeshua died on Passover as the ultimate Passover sacrifice and rose as the first fruits of the harvest, that his post-resurrection appearances were all during the Omer count? In fact, we know what day he rose to heaven because of this. He was seen for 40 days, and that was well established because everyone was counting the Omer toward Shavu’ot. So he rose to the Father on the 40th day of the Omer count, 10 days before Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that day! What an amazing Elohim we serve! He weaves all things, even intricate details, throughout centuries for His purposes and His glory! Praise His Name! And, remember these things as we continue counting to this year’s Shavu’ot! Shalom!