Yes, counting Pentecost the "wave sheaf way" surely does have very real personal meaning for us.
After three days and three nights in the grave, Jesus was resurrected late on the weekly Sabbath afternoon, near sunset. That coincided with the practice of the priest, who cut a sheaf of ripened barley grain, on that Saturday evening and waved it in the Temple on the next morning of the first day of the week, the day we call Sunday. Hence the name, “wave sheaf.”
Understanding the significance of how Jesus symbolically fulfilled the wave sheaf offering and its timing on the Sunday morning, after the weekly Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread, is very important. Leviticus 23:15-17 is where God told Moses how to count Pentecost.
Here are five points to consider in these verses, of how God wants us to “count” to the appointed day of Pentecost:
- Pentecost day is to be determined by “count,” not by a fixed date such as 6th Sivan.
- Pentecost is to be counted “mi mohorat ha Shabbat” The Hebrew meaning is: “from and including the morrow after the weekly Sabbath.”
- Pentecost is counted “from and including the morrow after ha Shabbat.” The Hebrew ha Shabbat always means the weekly seventh day Sabbath, never an annual Holy Day Sabbath, which are always referred to in Hebrew, as simply “Shabbat” and not ha Shabbat throughout the pages of the Old Testament.
- Pentecost is to be counted from and including the wave sheaf offering day, which is the first day of the week after the weekly Sabbath (ha Shabbat) during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
- Pentecost is to be counted so as to include “seven Sabbaths,” meaning full weeks including a Sabbath—not partial weeks without a weekly Sabbath. In Deuteronomy 16:9 the Hebrew word for “weeks” is shabbua, meaning primarily “weeks,” but also “seven,” “sevened,” or “Sabbath,” but in Leviticus 23:16, counting “seven Sabbaths,” the word is shabbat meaning seven “Sabbaths,” or a week always ending on a Sabbath, and not on any other day.
When we apply these five commanded points of God, in counting Pentecost, we always arrive at a Sunday, from sunset at the end of the Sabbath to sunset at the end of Sunday for keeping Pentecost, but on a different calendar date, each year—including the sacred calendar.
God was very careful to explain these instructions of how to count Pentecost to Moses, because there is an even greater symbolic link and significant connection between the wave sheaf offering and the Feast of the Firstfruits, known as Pentecost.
Jesus Christ was the very first one to be changed from flesh to spirit as the Son of God and fulfill the ancient symbolism of Him being the first of the firstfruits, to be resurrected and presented before God our Father (Exodus 23:19, Ezekiel 44:30, 1 Corinthians 15:20).
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
So, since Jesus is the first of the firstfruits, then who are the other firstfruits to follow Him and to be in the first resurrection, when Jesus Christ returns to this Earth?
The exciting answer to that question was given as inspiration by Jesus Christ to the apostles Paul and James, among other places:
“But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23).
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18). Just as Jesus Christ was raised from the dead late on the weekly Sabbath, during the Days of Unleavened Bread and was presented before God our Father on that amazing wave sheaf offering day.