High Holy Days
|September 14, 2021|
The last of the fall High Holy Days, the last of the fall feasts, is called Sukkot. It is also known as the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. This week-long celebration, which begins on Sept. 20th, is when people build temporary shelters of branches (yes, even today) to remember how the Hebrew people lived under God’s care during their forty years in the wilderness. It is a reminder of God’s faithfulness and protection. This time of celebration is first found in Leviticus 23:39-43 which states in part: …take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is a lasting ordinance…..Live in booths….All native born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. It is rather amazing when doing a simple search on the internet that one can find these temporary shelters even on the balconies of apartment complexes. Today, these “sukkahs” or booths are made with wood and canvas with branches for the roofs. Because this is a festive time, families will often decorate with flowers, fruits & vegetables.
According to Jewish tradition on the last day of Sukkot: 1) people carrying torches marched around the temple and then set those torches in the walls of the temple indicating the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles. Isaiah 49:6b – I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may ring my salvation to the ends of the earth. 2) A priest carried water from the pool of Siloam to the temple, symbolizing that when Messiah comes the whole earth will know God “as the waters cover the sea”. Isaiah 11:9 – They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
How do we see Jesus/Yeshua reflected in these Old Testament verses within the New Testament? And, could we see how Jesus/Yeshua might be the fulfillment of Sukkot in the future? John 7 tells us that Jesus/Yeshua did participate in this feast; however, not publicly, but in secret (John 7:10). In the midst of this celebration, he goes to the temple to teach. John 7:37, 38 – “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 8:12 – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Let’s now go back to John 7 because Jesus states something really interesting in verse 8. He is talking with his family about attending the Feast of Tabernacles. “You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.” Could this have been a prophetic word about an event in the future? The answer is an obvious yes, but what? To find this answer, we go to Revelation 21:2-4
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Sukkot was intended to be a yearly reminder of God’s provision for his people while they were in the wilderness those 40 years. Sukkot is also an indicator of what is yet to take place – the Lord, Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha’Maschiach, “tabernacle-ing” amongst his people. Jesus’ last words in scripture: Rev. 22:7 – “Behold, I am coming soon.” Rev. 22:20 – “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Mark 13:32-33 – “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert!” Jesus will be returning soon. And, yes, I do believe that the Scriptures give us hints on when that will happen. So may the Lord find us all faithful to continue praying for and interceding on behalf of our brothers and sisters in the faith AND for those who have not yet made the choice of accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Blessings & Shalom,