When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
Starting from the 16th of Nissan, the day after the Passover Sabbath, we are asked to count seven weeks and one day, fifty days, until Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15). On the fortieth day of this counting the Messiah ascended in the cloud in the plain view of the disciples. They were at the same moment told that as He went in the cloud, so will He return (Acts 1:11). As believers this period between the resurrection and the ascension is very special. It is the period when we are told that the Messiah made all His resurrected appearances up to five hundred disciples plus (1 Corinthinas 15:6).
This fifty days period is called in Hebrew ‘s’phirat ha’omer’, meaning, ‘the counting of the Omer’. This terminology is synonymous to, ‘the recounting of the Omer’ as if it were a story, or the ‘shining of the Omer ‘as in cleaning. I would say that all these are correct, in their own rights. As we count the days of the Omer, we can tell the stories of the appearances of the risen Messiah, thus shining and preparing our souls for the great day of Pentecost when in the similitude of Mt Horeb’s events, through earthquake, wind, and fire, the Torah was sealed in the disciples hearts 2,000 years ago (Acts 2).
I would even say that remembering the resurrection is vital to our faith. Up to the time of the resurrection the disciples were weak in their faith. Many of those also who had previously believed in Him because of the signs and the miracles were easily swayed by the tide of prevailing public opinion. What sealed the deal for Israel was the resurrection. After the resurrection, the whole city of Jerusalem was filled with believers who had become quite a force and even a positive element in Israel until such a time when persecution started again under Herod Antipas (Acts 12) and the wicked High-Priest who executed James (Josephus). It is during that time that the Letter to the Hebrews was written encouraging thenJewish believers of Israel that even though things below looked bleak, they were supposed to comfort themselves with the reality which was from above. Still a good advice for today!
This belief in the resurrection is the corner stone of faith. It is this belief that made innocent victimized Job say, I know that my redeemer lives (Job 19:25). It is that faith that brought Abraham to the mountain in the face of an insurmountable trial (Hebrews 11:17-19). Many people dare to challenge the authenticity of the apostolic texts, but their biggest vindication is the historically proven cruel martyrdom of each of the disciples who saw the resurrected Messiah. People can’t do that unless they have witnessed something real.
Even today as the world gets darker, it is that same faith in the Resurrected One that needs to be our beacon of light, hope and faith in the face of the seeming irrationalities life seems to deal us. Telling the stories of the Resurrected One during the counting of the Omer, needs to ‘shine’ our faith that even though death may seem prevalent, He has come so that through resurrection, corruption and death puts on incorruptibility.