Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Yeshua in the Counting of the Omer Part 3: On the Mountain

The period of time on the Biblical Calendar known as the Counting of the Omer is the 50 day period from the day after the regular weekly Sabbath which falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot.  In Christian circles this holiday is known as Pentecost but is little known beyond recognition as the day the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples and they spoke in tongues.  But this Feast has great significance in the life and ministry of Jesus (Yeshua) and in the lives of his disciples including us today who follow Him.  Yeshua was very active during this time teaching and preparing His disciple to go out into the world and preach the Gospel.

At the breakfast there by the Sea of Galilee, Yeshua fed them bread and fish.

John 21:9 NKJV 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

John 21:12-13 NKJV 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" --knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.

This is reminiscent of another meal of bread and fish. This meal took place on a mountainside. Yeshua had been teaching four thousand men plus women and children for three days, and they were all hungry.

Matthew 15:32 NKJV 32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."

The disciples asked where they could get enough food to feed all the people. They only had seven loaves of bread and a few fish.

Matthew 15:36-38 NKJV 36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. 37 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. 38 Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.

Numbers are significant in scripture. Yeshua in the Counting of the Omer Part 1: Fishers of Men, we saw that 153 represented all the sons of God. Yeshua will not lose even one of those entrusted to Him. This account starts with the number three. Then, the number seven occurs twice; they start with seven fish and end up with seven baskets of fish and bread left over. The number four occurs in combination with the number one thousand. Three is the number of divine completion. In this context, the three refers to the death and resurrection of Yeshua. Who better to provide food for those who seek Him, than the one who died to give them life? Those who seek Him will find Him and to them He will give the bread of Life.

John 6:33 NKJV 33 "For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

Seven is the number of spiritual completion. It looks forward to the seventh day when God rested from all His labors and to the time when we will truly enter His rest.

Hebrews 4:9-10 NKJV 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

With God, one day is as a thousand, so the number one thousand reminds us that Yeshua will return and set up His reign of peace and rest in the seventh millennium. The number four represents all of creation. There are four compass directions, and God will gather His people from all four directions.

Psalms 107:2-3 NKJV 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, 3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.

Yeshua said that His people will have rest in the kingdom of God.

Luke 13:29-30 NKJV 29 "They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 "And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last."

How does this feeding of the four thousand relate to the Yeshua feeding the disciples bread and fish? At sometime during this event, Yeshua commanded them to meet Him on the mountain in Galilee during the counting of the Omer. Which mountain and why? It may have been the same mountainside on which He feed the four thousand because there was room for Him to meet with many of His disciples at once. Paul says Yeshua appeared to five hundred of His disciples at once.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6 NKJV 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

What was His message to them there on the mountain? They were to go to all the nations, north, west, east, and south and make disciples, and He would be with them until the completion of the of the six thousand years and into the seventh thousand years of His reign.

Matthew 28:16-20 NKJV 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

The days of the counting of the Omer continue. Now, Yeshua has given them their mission, their task. How would they accomplish it? Perhaps the eleven are remembering Yeshua’s words at His last Passover.

John 15:26-27 NKJV 26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 "And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The excitement builds. What would happen on this Feast of Weeks, the celebration of God giving Israel the Torah at Mt. Sinai? Would Yeshua establish His kingdom at this time? Would He then send out the disciples as He earlier sent out the seventy? Stay with us as we continue to count the Omer with Yeshua’s disciples.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and be blessed,
Dan & Brenda Cathcart

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