The time between Passover and Shavuot (aka — Pentecost) is a journey of waiting and trusting, and the two harvest Feasts are inextricably linked. During this time, we count each day towards Shavuot by counting an omer (measure) of barley as directed in Leviticus 23, counting 7 weeks to the 50th day (thus Pentecost), which then begins the new grain harvest of wheat. Historically, it is the time between the miraculous rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, by the mighty outstretched arm of God, and the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai 50 days later. The event at Mount Sinai was a collective covenant and anointing of the nation of Israel with the glory of the Lord that would travel with them and lead them throughout their 40 years of wilderness wanderings.
Some 1200 years later would come a new kind of rescue, a rescue from the slavery of sin and death, also through the mighty outstretched arm of God — which is Yeshua (Jesus). On the very day of Passover, as the sacrificial lambs were being slaughtered, Yeshua was slain on the cross to atone for our sins. However, this time the rescue was not just for the nation of Israel, but also for every ethnos of the world.
Just as Yeshua rose from the grave as the Firstfruits from the dead, the daily counting of an omer of barley began on that very day as the barley harvest began, continuing to day 50 when the new grain harvest of wheat began. For 40 days, Yeshua walked the Earth in his resurrected body proving to his followers, and many others, that He had indeed conquered death. On the 40th day after his resurrection, Jesus ascended from Earth to Heaven and was seated on the throne at the right hand of the Father. This would leave 10 more days for His followers to wait for His promised gift that would come on Shavuot.
Why did He leave with 10 remaining days until the Holy Spirit would come? I don’t know the answer to this question, but His followers waited with great anticipation for what was to come following those 10 days. When Shavuot had fully come, they were gathered in unity as commanded in Leviticus 23 and as commanded by Yeshua in Acts 1. This is the day that the promised gift of the Holy Spirit arrived in all of God’s glory to accompany and empower each and every person who believed and committed their lives to Jesus.
Now the glory of the Lord was not just accompanying the nation of Israel (barley harvest) but was, and is, now dwelling within each believer from every nation (wheat harvest), to be grafted into this new Kingdom of God that makes us all united in Yeshua. The Holy Spirit is a sign and seal of the new covenant that writes God’s Law on our hearts, empowers us with all gifts of the Spirit and produces the fruit of the Spirit in and through us. Both the events at Mt. Sinai and 1200 years later in Jerusalem have been likened to a wedding betrothal, to be consummated at the end of the age.
But until that time, this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in It. This is the day that whosoever believes will not perish but have eternal life. One day, we will rise to meet Him face to face, and we eagerly await that day. But until then, we are empowered with the Holy Spirit to reap a harvest for the Kingdom of Heaven from every tribe, tongue and nation.