It was not until the Spirit of God prompted me, in 2004, to actually take the time to find a methodical way to Count the Omer. When applying it, I finally received some profound spiritual nourishment for my soul.
Do you follow the method of the Pharisees or Sadducees for the counting of the omer to determine Shavuot? It seems that most in the independent Messianic movement follow the counting method of the Sadducees.
If the people are ready to sense the leading of the Holy Spirit—when told about the opportunity to annually celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread—some spiritual eyes are opened to a fuller understanding of the whole counsel of God, found in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. The testimonies from many in the Messianic community, about how the Lord used a Passover seder meal to open their eyes, are telling. Many Messianic teachers, congregations, and fellowships utilize Passover seder commemorations, as times to reach out to family, friends, and acquaintances. Jewish people, who remember observing Passover growing up, and who may have distanced themselves from God—often get to see a dynamic to the Passover, which a traditional remembrance in the Synagogue would obviously not have shown them. Evangelical Christians, who are either curious or confused about the unique Messianic lifestyle that their relative or friend has embraced, get to see a more fuller understanding of Jesus as the Lamb slain.
Mark Huey of Outreach Israel Ministries delivers the following message entitled, “Passover: Paradox or Outreach?” There are many questions which circulate in today’s Messianic community during the season of Passover and Unleavened Bread. How is this to be an important time for us reaching out with the full message of the good news of Messiah Yeshua, to both the Jewish and Christian communities?
It comes every Spring, usually sometime in March or April. You know it because in stores you see the baskets, candy, rabbits, eggs, and the annoying fake grass that goes in those baskets. You see the Cadbury cream egg commercials on television with the rabbits gobbling like chickens. Its name is Easter.
Most sincere Christians celebrate the season of Easter not as a time to fawn over rabbits or eat candy, but as a serious time to remember the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus). They commemorate His death on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Certainly, of all the events in our faith, the resurrection of our Lord is the most important. The Apostle Paul validly writes, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Messiah has been raised; and if Messiah has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). However, when we consider the pre-Messianic and pre-Christian origins of “Easter,” we do need to reevaluate it.