May 2, 2016
We count the omer (the measure of barley), observing the growth of the barley harvest, while anticipating the second harvest, which is of wheat. In the Old Testament, the counting of the omer started with the Israelites, on their day of deliverance from Pharaoh. In the New Testament, the counting of the omer started with Yeshua’s resurrection.
By the 9th day of counting the omer, Yeshua had appeared in his resurrected body to several different people. He was anticipating the second harvest — the day the Spirit would be poured out, which signaled the beginning of the wheat harvest. Let’s look at these appearances that occurred by the 9th day of the omer:
On the first day of the omer, Yeshua appeared to Miriam of Magdala (Mark 16:9; John 20:16-18), some other women (Matt. 28:5-10), and then to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5).
On the second day, He appeared to the two on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32) and later that evening to the twelve disciples (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:33-39; John 20:19).
A week later, He appeared to the Twelve again (John 20:26)
Eight days later, Yeshua appeared to Thomas (John 20:24-29).
April 30, 2016
We are in the season of counting the omer, a celebration of the barley harvest, and it is significant to note that Yeshua’s resurrection is Day 1 of the count. On Day 7 (see John 20:26), His disciples were gathered together in a locked room, and Yeshua showed up in the midst of them without coming through the door. Imagine what that experience was like!
Yeshua extended his hands to Thomas (who missed Yeshua’s previous visit), and told Thomas to look at the evidence of where the nails had pierced his wrists. He challenged Thomas to look at the wound in his side, so Thomas would believe that it really was Yeshua, resurrected from the dead.
Thomas was embarrassed that he had not believed the other disciples’ reports of Yeshua’s resurrection. Yeshua said to him, “Have you trusted because you have seen me? How blessed are those who do not see, but trust anyway!” (John 20:29)
Today is Day 7 of the counting of the omer, the anniversary of this event, and I’m challenged to ask myself, are there different ways in my own life that I don’t believe Yeshua is present, because I don’t see him? Will I be embarrassed of my doubts when I have the opportunity to see Yeshua face to face? What blessings will I have missed because I chose doubt rather than trust?
This is only Day 7! There is more to come! Shabbat Shalom!
April 27, 2016
For those who are unaware of the purpose of counting the omer, consider this. If a child had a special event coming up in 30 days, he might start counting in anticipation, saying that it’s Day 1 until the visit to Disneyland, Day 2 until the visit to Disneyland, etc. Back in the Exodus story, the Israelites were told to count 50 days from the day they were delivered by the parting of the Sea of Reeds. On the 50th day, Moses was given the Commandments. In Yeshua’s day, the Jews were counting 50 days from the day of the Resurrection, and on that day they were given the Spirit. Counting the omer is an anticipation of the day when the Spirit was given, to enable us to live out the Commandments.