Have you ever counted the days till an event you’re excited about? Time can go so slowly when you’re watching it.
There’s a forgotten element of Jesus’ resurrection which many of us do not consider, what was He doing in the 40 days between His resurrection and Ascension?
Yeshua walked the earth for 40 days after coming back to life. 40 days! Do you know how long that is? The Jewish people would have a good sense of how long that is, because it falls in their time of Counting the Omer for the 50 days between Passover and Pentecost.
Just as any woman who has given birth knows exactly how long nine months feels, the Jewish people know exactly how long it feels from Passover until the feast of Weeks (called the feast of Shavuot in Hebrew, which means weeks, also known as Pentecost because of the 50 days) because they have to count the days off every year.
Fifty days. Seven weeks. Every day, the omer is counted. For forty of those fifty carefully counted days, Yeshua was walking around, hanging out with friends, eating with them, talking with them, freaking them out from time to time. Especially at the beginning.
And what is an omer? You might well ask. An omer is a unit of measurement and is about three and a half litres, or just over fifteen cups of dry commodities. In this case, barley. Sometimes an omer is translated as sheaf, since it is about the amount of barley or grains that you would need to bundle into a sheaf. The instruction is to wave an omer, or a sheaf of barley before the Lord, and then count seven weeks until the wheat harvest has ripened, and the feast of Weeks arrives.
God has given the Jewish people an internal clock and a good sense of this time frame. But do you realize that this is the length of time between the resurrection and the day that God poured out His Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks?
Leviticus 23:15-16 lays out the time-frame for the Feast of Weeks:
“And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.”
Jesus was crucified at Passover, and raised on the morning of the third day which is when the counting starts, and ascended ten days before the Holy Spirit was poured out at the feast of Weeks. (Pentecost)
“After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.” Acts 1:3
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Luke 24:44
This is Jesus, talking during these 40 days. He’s resurrected and returning to talk to His disciples. Even though Jesus told them on several occasions, “I must be killed. I must be crucified. I must die for your sins.” He told them that over and over. Do you know what “the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms” means? He didn’t say “the Old Testament” because it didn’t exist yet. They called it “the Law of Moses” (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), “the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Paul mentions not once but twice in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 that this is a foreshadowing of Yeshua’s resurrection:
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”
It was exactly at this time of year that Yeshua rose again from the dead, victoriously. It was during the counting of the omer that he walked the earth in His resurrection body, and it was just before the feast of Weeks that he ascended to heaven again, and sent the Holy Spirit as he promised.
Yeshua is not the first to have ever been raised from the dead (there were two boys in the times of Elijah and Elisha, and Yeshua raised a twelve year old girl and His friend Lazarus from the dead) but he was the first to return in His resurrection body, never to die again.
Jesus rose from the dead after Passover, for forty days he was among them, teaching about the Kingdom of God and explaining how He fulfilled the prophecies, and then He ascended to His place at the right hand of the Father a week before Pentecost.
source: One for Israel