So, we are at 42 and counting. This is the sixth Sabbath of the seven we are to count toward day 50. The Day of Pentecost is calculated as per the instruction in Leviticus 23:16. “Count 50 days …” Other Holy Days are given a specific calendar date, so why do we count 50 in order to establish the Day of Pentecost? It is a command, so it must be important in God’s Plan of Salvation as revealed by the Holy Days.
Firstly, the counting keeps the day attached to the starting point – the day following the weekly Sabbath in the Days of Unleavened Bread. What happened on that day has significance to the meaning of Pentecost. “… then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Leviticus 23:10-11).
One of the major lessons we draw from Pentecost is about Christ being the Firstfruits. “…Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23). As an “offering” Christ was “waved before the Lord” and was accepted by the Father on the day following the weekly Sabbath in the Days of Unleavened Bread. All of the symbolism of the physical wave-sheaf offering was fulfilled in reality by Jesus “…that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).
Those who by faith are covered by Christ’s sacrifice become firstfruits (James 1:18).
The number 50 also appears prominently in the calculation of the Year of Jubilee. After counting seven sabbaths of years, the following year (the 50th) was to be declared the Year of Jubilee. (See Leviticus 25: 8-11.) The configuration is quite like the counting of Pentecost, except it is years and not days.
Deeply embedded in the principle of the Jubilee is redemption. A family was to retain the possession of the land (God’s land) that they had inherited. If they had been forced off the land through some circumstance, the land was to be returned to the family’s possession in the 50th year. However, there was also a clause that allowed for the land to be redeemed ahead of the 50th year. (See Leviticus 25:24-27.)
If the Jubilee represents the redemption of mankind through Christ’s sacrifice, then there are those who can have redemption before the “Year of Jubilee.” The Apostle Peter makes it plain that the Church is made up of people who have been redeemed, not with corruptible things like silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. (See 1 Peter 1:17-21.)
We have been redeemed ahead of the Jubilee year to be firstfruits. “…These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4).
The Day of Pentecost ties together in a very direct manner, the wave sheaf offering of Jesus Christ and our redemption as firstfruits unto God.
The counting of 50 days bundles all this together and makes the Day of Pentecost a very meaningful day for the Church today.