Isaiah 12:1-3 (NIV) — “In that day you will say, I will praise You, O Lord, although You were angry with me, Your anger has turned away and You have comforted me. Surely, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. With joy You will draw water from the Wells of Salvation.”
I have found that there are seven main festivals of the Lord in the Jewish tradition based on the Old Testament. In recent articles, I’ve mentioned several of those held during springtime.
Last Sunday we had the privilege to celebrate the First Fruits of Pentecost.
Allow me to jump to one of the fall festivals, the Feast of Tabernacles, the seventh one. If you wanted to read the actual biblical Scripture passage, it’s in Leviticus 23:33-44.
There’s so much to share in such a limited space. What I consider a special note is that Jesus was more than likely born during the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Bible doesn’t specifically say a date and time, but it’s widely understood it didn’t happen in the winter on December 25. That is another article for another time. Perhaps the shepherds being in the fields at the time of the Messiah’s birth would be just one clue.
I find this next Scripture a link regarding the Feast of Tabernacles extremely interesting.
John 7:37-39 as it is written by the Apostle: “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘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.’ By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
Another note of interest to me is that between the writings of the Old Testament and the New Testament is what is known as the 400 silent years.
During that time, there were two more additions to the Jewish tradition. I understand those to be the Water Liberation and Illumination of the Temple. Both of those ceremonies were to highlight the symbolism of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and glory of God’s presence with mankind.
Jesus used both of them to highlight His deity. These were two of His seven “I Am” statements.
The second tradition I mentioned that Jesus referred to in the New Testament, Illumination of the Temple, is in John 8:12 — “When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.’”
Today, for this article, I’ll limit my focus on the Water Liberation ceremony in short form.
The high priest would lead a procession from the temple to the Pool of Siloam (the same pool where Jesus told the paralyzed man, pick up your mat and walk). At the pool with singing and trumpets, the air is full of music. The priest fills the golden pitcher with water, then returns to the temple through the Water Gate, leaving the members of the procession outside. As he enters the temple, he pours water into the basin at the foot of the altar as he prays.
The purpose of the ceremony is twofold. As an agricultural community dependent on the crops, the spring and fall rains were a matter of life and death. Prayers of thanksgiving were given for blessings already received while acknowledging the need for future blessings and provision.
The Water Liberation ceremony was a prophetic symbol of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
What caught my attention? What caused me to link the recent Pentecost Sunday of spring to the fall ceremony of Feast of Tabernacles?
It is my understanding the waters from the Pool of Siloam were called the Wells of Salvation found in our opening Scripture.