When Jesus rose from the dead, He stayed on earth for forty days. There is not a detailed record of what took place during those days, but there is one insight that is fascinating to me.
Luke 24:44-49 NLT “Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things. 49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
Could you imagine what it would be like to have Jesus take you through the entire Old Testament saying, that verse is about Me, that portion is about Me, ok this one will take a bit, and He starts going verse by verse through Isaiah 53! We may not have a record of that, but the Holy Spirit can enlighten us about the Old Testament.
The time between Passover and Pentecost is known as the Counting of the Omer. In Leviticus 23, the Israelites are instructed to count seven weeks between Passover and Pentecost, counting up to the giving of the Torah and, for us, the giving of the Holy Spirit as well. There is not much instruction for this time other than to count, which would focus the mind on what is to come at Pentecost, The Word of God.
I would encourage us to use this time between now and Pentecost to draw closer to God. You could do that by reading or listening to the whole Bible over the next fifty days. That’s twenty-four chapters each day. You would be reading, not studying. This could be a time of letting the Word wash over you, renewing your mind, and resetting yourself to the things of God. I will read through the New Living Translation to allow for a fresh hearing of God’s Word.
Go before the Lord and ask Him how you can set aside this time to grow closer to Him and be renewed in His Word. The Counting of the Omer is a time of renewal, reflection, and preparation for the blessing to come. Use this set time for continued growth as well as targeted growth. What areas of your relationship with God do you want to grow in? If it’s prayer, set aside a specific time every day to pray, read Scriptures on prayer, study the model prayer that Jesus taught His disciples, and sign up for a prayer devotional. Do you want to go deeper into the Scripture? Now is the perfect time. Set a goal and walk it out till Pentecost and then keep going! Prepare your heart and mind, and allow the refreshing at Pentecost to sweep over you.