Blessings tonight on Second Passover and Day 28 of the Omer Count!
Second Passover (Pesach Sheni) occurs on the biblical date of Iyar 13-14, corresponding this year to May 7-8. According to Numbers 9:6-13, Pesach Sheni was offered to those few Israelites who were unable to celebrate Passover at the appointed time, either because they had been ritually unclean or “away on a distant journey.” Second Passover gave them – and only them – a second chance to observe the feast. Today, it serves to remind us of God’s mercy and grace to all His children for second chances in life.
Second Passover takes place during the period known as “Counting the Omer” (Sefirat HaOmer). What, you might ask, is the omer? Why is it counted – and is it meaningful to believers today?
God commanded ancient Israel to count the fifty days, or seven weeks, between the Sabbath of Passover and the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot). “From the day after the Sabbath [of or following Passover], the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.” (Leviticus 23:15-16). Rabbinic scholars differ as to the exact date the count begins and ends. But nearly all agree the count is to prepare us for a fresh revelation of – and encounter with – YHVH.
Historically, Sefirat HaOmer has been regarded mainly as an agricultural feast. Today it is observed with thanksgiving to God for past, present and future provision. Observant Jews also say a daily prayer. It very simply states how many days are left until the fiftieth day of the count: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who sanctifies us by His commandments and commands us to count the omer. Today is Day 1 (or 2 or 3, etc.) of the omer count.” The fifty days culminate on Shavuot.
According to tradition, it was on Shavuot that God gave Israel the revelation and gift of the Law (Torah). Whereas on Passover He delivered us from bondage to the world, on Shavuot He sanctified us by the revealed Word. We became more intimately His. A marriage-like exchange of vows took place, culminating with what is called the Mosaic covenant. Sefirat HaOmer reminds us – and revives in us – the revelation of holy love relationship with YHVH.
On another Shavuot, shortly after Yeshua ascended to heaven, God gave us the unparalleled gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The day is known as Pentecost. On Pentecost we were sanctified anew, not only by His Word but also His Spirit. Once again, covenantal vows were exchanged between God and His people. New Covenant revelation was manifest in the earth.
The New Covenant is gloriously more extensive than the Mosaic covenant. It is a type of marriage between Yeshua and Jews and Gentiles together, a composite unity in Messiah. For this reason, Pentecost is also known as the birth date of God’s called out ones, the ekklesia, or Church. Now, by His indwelling and empowering Spirit, we may access even greater intimacy of relationship with the Holy One – and each other – than did ancient Israel.
It was during the omer count that Yeshua’s many post-Resurrection appearances and revelatory teachings – including the Emmaus Road event – all took place. (1 Corinthians 15:7)
During Sefirat HaOmer 1948, the State of Israel was officially revealed in the earth as God’s restored, covenant nation.
There’s still more. The Feast of Shavuot is directly related to God’s timing for harvest. Therefore, could the fifty day omer count possibly represent a season of ripening toward spiritual, as well as agricultural harvest – even today?
This month, please pray with us for a revelation of Messiah as the Way, the Truth and the Life to many in Israel and the nations. Joyfully make ready for the harvest of souls that God desires – and to which He’s commissioned you. Prepare your heart, count the omer – and make it count! Be richly blessed!