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Redemption and Pentecost: Why ‘Counting the Omer’ is Important for Christians


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JERUSALEM, Israel – After Passover, the Bible tells the Jewish people to count 49 days until Shavuot. This special period is also significant for Christians.

It’s known as "Counting the Omer" found in where it says:

"From the day after the Sabbath (Passover), the day you brought the sheaf (omer) of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath"

Boaz Michael, Founder and Director of the First Fruits of Zion in Jerusalem told CBN News this important period of counting is a "link" that connects the miracle of Passover to Shavuot. 

"It teaches us that salvation is both redemption – what took place at Passover – but it's also the indwelling of God's Spirit empowering us to walk out that salvation," Michael said. 

The Bible says that on Shavuot, known as the "Feast of Weeks," or "Pentecost," the Holy Spirit was poured out. Jewish people celebrate this day as the day when God gave the law to Moses.

"What takes place at Shavuot, at Pentecost? The Spirit comes down, the nations are represented and the message was that God's salvation is not just for the Jewish people, but it's for all nations. And that's what took place in Acts Chapter Two was a fulfillment in many ways of this prayer that the Jewish people have prayed and continue to pray that all nations, all people will know God and his instructions and his ways," explained Michael.

An ‘Omer’ was a unit of measure used for grain in Bible times.

"The Omer is counted every night after the evening prayers of Mariv, we will say the Omer together. We'll say the day and the week and the time and we'll acknowledge that and then we'll read a text from Psalm Chapter 67," Michael explained.

Michael says the Omer would have been counted this way in the time of Jesus. And his disciples would have prayed the traditional reading of Psalm 67 prophetically. It says: “That your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations…and all the nations of the earth shall fear him.”

"By counting the Omer, we're thinking about, we're reflecting upon not only what took place at Passover just a few weeks ago, but we're leading up to a time in which God gave us his Torah, his instructions, his will and his wisdom in order that we may be that saved, redeemed people that he set us free to be," Michael said.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and