Shalom Fellow Israelite,
We are fast approaching the start of the biblical Counting of the Omer, a very significant day in YHVH’s timetable.
Leviticus 23:10: “Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, ‘When ye come in unto the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in the sheaf, the beginning [resheet] of your harvest unto the priest then he hath waved the sheaf before YHVH for your acceptance; on the morrow of the Sabbath doth the priest wave it’” (emphases added, YLT translation). The “first” (resheet) of the Omer refers to the first ripe barley sheaves that were to be waved before YHVH for our acceptance, on the day after the weekly Shabbat.
Thus, when Yeshua came up out of the grave on the first of the week, He was the first of the Omer, which was waved, again, for our “acceptance.”
We read in John 20:1 “Now on the first of the week Miriam of Migdal went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb…” (emphasis added). And a little further on, in John 20:16-17: “Yeshua said to her, ‘Miriam!’ She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is to say, Teacher). Yeshua said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My Elohim and your Elohim' " (emphases added).
In that year this tremendous event took place on the 18th of Nisan (or Aviv), as indeed is the case this year too. In Hebrew, the figure 18 (as used in date counting) is made up of the letters Yod and Chet, which form the word for “chai” - “living” or “alive.”
Quite often, in non-Hebrew speaking circles, the first day of the Omer is called “firstfruits.” That inaccuracy stems possibly from the following scripture: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits, afterward those who are Messiah's at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23, see also v. 20).
However, in the Aramaic version of this text (the Peshitta Aramaic Text) “firstfruits” is resheeta (or resheet in Hebrew) – that is, “beginning” (stemming from rosh – head). This word is identical to the one employed in Leviticus 23:10, quoted above.
Back to 1 Corinthians 15:22-23: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits,[the “beginning”] afterward those who are Messiah's at His coming.”
“Coming” is parousia in Greek and means “hidden presence.” Thus, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit at Shavuot (Pentecost), on the 50th day of the counting, Yeshua’s presence came into them (‘hid’ in them), making them the firstfruits or bikkurim of Shavuot (symbolized by two loaves which were baked with leaven). Bikkurim is the Hebrew word used in Leviticus 23:17 for the firstfruits of Shavuot – Feast of Weeks. Yeshua, being the head and the beginning, could not bring in the firstfruits before He Himself ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Only then could He send the Spirit, as it says in John 7:39 “… for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Yeshua was not yet glorified.” Thus, He obviously had to be glorified in order to make true His promise of the Spirit of Holiness.
Interestingly, an Omer of barley was used as an offering in the event of a husband who was overcome by a spirit of jealousy. Numbers 5:14-15 says: “If the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, who has defiled herself; or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, although she has not defiled herself -- then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. He shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an EPHAH of barley meal; he shall pour no oil on it and put no frankincense on it, because it is a grain offering of jealousy, an offering for remembering, for bringing iniquity to remembrance” (emphasis added). One tenth of an ephah equals one omer (see Ex. 16:35). The priest was to make the woman drink bitter water in order to determine whether she was innocent or not (ref. 5:17,18, 22-24, 27), with the effect of the drink on her body being such that it would disclose her true state. Yeshua, when He was on the stake, was given wine mixed with bitter gall, which he did taste (although He did not continue drinking it, see Matt. 27:34).
Again, we see Yeshua, not only being the beginning of the barley harvest, but also the husband (Deut. 6:12-16) whose wife
has gone astray (see Jer.
3:6, as one example of many). He has become the very offering of the barely Omer,
the Priest who offers it, and then the One who takes upon Himself the very
transgression of the faithless wife, partaking of the bitter gall in her place.
Yeshua, of course, spent the first 40 days of the Counting of the Omer teaching His disciples about the
Kingdom of Elohim, after which He ascended, but not before
telling those disciples to tarry in
“until you receive power from on high.” Yeshua’s departure date would
have occurred on the 28th of Iyyar, in Hebrew Kaf, Chet, spelling
“ko’ach” – power or strength. That date also happens to be the day in
which Jerusalem Jerusalem (that is the )
was liberated in the Six Day war in 1967.
Since 1968, the 28th of Iyyar has been declared the official
Jerusalem Day. Old City
Yeshua’s multi-facetted role never ceases to amaze us, in that He was and is, what Hebrews 1:2-3 declares: “… His [Elohim’s] Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”