What had me so excited last week about what I was going to share with you this week is that the Festival of Tabernacles our family decided to celebrate this year coincides perfectly with the Spring of Life.
“On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been received because Jesus had not yet been glorified.” John 7:37-39
God is so good and so is His timing. We have spent time this past week reading through several passages in the Bible that pertain to the Feast of Tabernacles and it has been a blessed time. In addition, we have spent each evening sharing a meal with friends and family. The feast celebrates the ingathering of the fall harvest. It is a time to remember God’s faithfulness to the Israelites as they wandered in the dessert as well as a time of thankfulness for God’s provision. As stated in Celebrating Biblical Feasts:
“Sukkoth was the first “stopping off” place for the Israelites on their journey out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. The name is explained in Genesis 33:17: “And Jacob journeyed to Succoth; and built for himself a house, and made booths for his livestock, therefore the place is named Succoth.” The Hebrew word Sukkoth means “huts.” Sukkoth was instituted in the beginning of Israel’s history (Leviticus 23:39-43) and it was never forgotten” (Celebrating Biblical Feasts, 157-158).
Not only did the Israelites celebrate this feast, but we also see records of Jesus, Himself, celebrating as seen in the John passage above. I would like to share an excerpt from Celebrating Biblical Feasts that gives insight into the significance of what Jesus said and did on the last and most important day of the festival:
“The theme of His teaching related directly to the festival…A special feature of this particular worship service was the sending of a priest to the Pool of Siloam with a golden pitcher to draw water which was poured into a bowl at the altar. With the approach of the rainy season, Israel depended on God to send rain for the next seasons’ crops. This was a time for serious praying, asking God to open the gates of heaven and send the necessary rain. As the priest poured out the water, he visually demonstrated God’s continuing and faithful love in sending rain. Like so many other traditions, it carried another deeper spiritual meaning. This was a demonstration or sign of Israel’s hope for the coming of Messiah as they looked forward to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which God had promised. Jesus, knowing the drought that existed in their hearts, probably quoted the familiar words of the prophet Isaiah, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1). “ And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places…and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:11). “For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants” (Isaiah 44:3).
Do you see how excited I was upon reading this passage during the week of the Festival of Tabernacles? Jesus’ cry went forth on the last and most important day of the festival. His cry still goes out today for all those who are thirsty…Come and drink from the Spring of Life. Believe in me and you will have streams of living water flow from deep within you (John 7:38).