Thoughts of the Counting of the Omer
By Youval Yanay
As we are now in the third week of the Counting of the Omer (Leviticus 23:15), which takes place between Passover and Shavuot (also known as Pentecost), we are reminded of the Passover Lamb, sacrificed during the time of the Exodus. This Lamb is a symbol of redemption and freedom for the Jewish people, and it also foreshadowed the ultimate redemption that would come through the sacrifice of Yeshua, our Messiah. In Revelation 12:11, we see the power of the blood of the Lamb to overcome the accuser and to bring victory to those who follow Him. As we reflect on this powerful truth during the Counting of the Omer, let us remember the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb and of Yeshua. May we strive to live lives that reflect the love and power of our Messiah.
As a Messianic Jewish community, we are called to walk in the footsteps of Yeshua, our Messiah, who taught us to love one another as He has loved us. This love is not just a feeling or an emotion but an action that requires sacrifice and commitment.
In Revelation 12:11, we see a powerful example of this love in action:
“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
This verse speaks of a great battle taking place in the spiritual realm. We are called to take part in this battle. The enemy seeks to destroy us and separate us from the love of our Messiah, but we have the power to overcome him through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
The blood of the Lamb refers to the sacrifice Yeshua made on the cross for our sins. It is through His sacrifice that we are able to be reconciled to God and have eternal life. The enemy may try to accuse us and remind us of our past mistakes and sins, but we can stand firm in the knowledge that we have been forgiven and washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7
The word of our testimony refers to the power of our personal testimony and the stories of how God has worked in our lives. Our testimonies have the power to inspire and encourage others who may be going through similar struggles. By sharing our stories and faith, we help others overcome the enemy and draw closer to God.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16
But perhaps the most powerful part of this verse is the final phrase: “they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” This speaks to the ultimate sacrifice that many of our brothers and sisters in the faith have made throughout history. They were willing to give up their own lives for the sake of the gospel and the love of their Messiah.
As we read this verse, we are reminded that we too are called to a life of sacrifice and commitment. We may not be called to give up our physical lives, but we are called to die to ourselves and live for the sake of our Messiah and His kingdom. This means putting aside our own desires and agendas and seeking first the will of God.
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Mathew 10:39
So what does this look like in practical terms? It means being willing to step out of our comfort zones and share our faith with those around us. It means being a light in a dark world and loving others as Yeshua has loved us. It means serving others and putting their needs before our own. It means praying for our enemies and forgiving those who have wronged us.
As Messianic Jews, we also have a unique calling as part of the nation of Israel. God has chosen Israel to be a light to the nations and a channel of blessing to the world. We are called to be a part of that mission, to share the love and truth of our Messiah with both Jews and Gentiles. As we live lives of sacrifice and commitment, let us also remember our calling as a nation and strive to fulfill that calling to the best of our abilities.
In conclusion, Revelation 12:11 is a powerful reminder of the love and sacrifice of our Messiah Yeshua, and our call to follow in His footsteps. Let us be a people who are willing to overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, and who are willing to lay down our lives for the sake of our Messiah and His kingdom. May we reflect His love and light to a world in desperate need.