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Feast of Tabernacles

And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths. Lev 23:41-42

Thousands of years ago, when there was still a temple in Jerusalem, a visitor at Sukkot would have jostled among the huge crowds and have heard above the tumult of the people the sounds of hundreds of animals ready for sacrifice. The air was full of noise and smells, but the atmosphere was joyful. It was a day of rejoicing before the Lord. Today, the Temple no longer stands in Jerusalem but the feast continues, as does the joy. Thankfully the animals are gone and much of the noise in the city is that of car Horns.

One feature of the modern celebrations which would have amazed Moses is the number of visitors from the nations. They come with their countries’ flags, many in national costumes, and join the joyous celebration. They love the God of Israel, the Land, the Jewish people and their Messiah. These are not just religious tourists. By their presence many are consciously performing a prophetic act. They believe the words of Zechariah who prophesied that during the Messianic reign, Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. Zech 14:16 ESV

Almost two thousand years ago there was another special guest at Sukkot in Jerusalem - Messiah. Yochanan (John) chapter 7 describes His visit. On the last day of Tabernacles, called Hoshana Rabbah, when the priests’ prayers culminated in prayer for rain for the coming year’s crops, Yeshua shouted, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Jn 7:37-38 He spoke of the Holy Spirit that His believers would receive. By this He declared that He is the Messiah. He is the answer to the prayers of those who seek their Messiah and have a spiritual thirst. Yeshua’s declaration divided the Jews: some believed, yet some wanted to arrest Him and beat Him. Yeshua still divides the Jews. Sukkot continues to be the time when Jews can ask, ‘Who is this Jesus?’

Rev Constantine (Kostya) Michailidis and his wife, Natasha, pastor ‘Yeshua Tsidkenu’, a Russian Messianic Jewish Congregation in Sydney, Australia. kostya [ at ]

Day 15: Sunday Sept 23