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Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) 2011

Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) 2011

Sundown Wednesday, October 12 thru Thursday, October 20.

The festival of Sukkot is instituted in Leviticus 23:33-44. The Festival of Sukkot begins on the fifth day after Yom Kippur. It is quite a drastic transition, from one of the most solemn holidays in our year to one of the most joyous. Sukkot is so unreservedly joyful that it is commonly referred to in Jewish prayer and literature as the Season of our Rejoicing.
Sukkot is the last of the three pilgrimage festivals. Like Passover and Shavu’ot, Sukkot has a dual significance: historical and agricultural. Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Ingathering.
The word “Sukkot” means “booths,” and refers to the temporary dwellings that we are commanded to live in during this holiday in memory of the period of wandering. Sukkot lasts for seven days. (Reference: Judiasm 101: Sukkot)

From an agricultural perspective in ancient Israel, Pesach [Passover] corresponded to the planting season, Shavuot [Pentecost] corresponded to the grain harvest, and Sukkot corresponded to the fruit harvest. When you planted your crops in spring, you do not yet rejoice because you were uncertain about how the harvest will turn out. And when you harvested your grain at the start of summer, you might have rejoiced that you now had bread in hand, but you would still be uncertain about the success of your fruit crops. Total joy would come after you had harvested all of your crops in the fall, and thereby received sustenance and provision for the coming year from the LORD.

From a spiritual perspective, Sukkot corresponds to the joy of knowing your sins were forgiven (during Yom Kippur), and also recalls God’s miraculous provision and care after the deliverance from bondage in Egypt (Lev. 23:43). Prophetically, Sukkot anticipates the coming kingdom of the Mashiach Yeshua wherein all the nations shall come up to Jerusalem to worship the LORD during the festival (see Zech. 14:16). Today Sukkot is a time to remember God’s Sheltering Presence and Provision for us for the start of the New Year. (Reference: Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles)

Click on the link for additional information on the Jewish Feasts.

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39 NJKV

In a message recently broadcast by Joseph Prince Ministries, Pastor Prince talked about the significance of Jesus’ words while he was in Jerusalem on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus was speaking of rivers of living water, which are moving and refreshing. The living water here refers to the Holy Spirit.

A very important distinction highlighted from Scripture was this:
Forgiveness was given to you because Christ was crucified. The Holy Spirit was given to you because Christ was glorified.

During the Feast of Tabernacles, the priests on the last day, the “great day”, take a container and go down from Mount Moriah to the pool of Siloam to collect water, which they bring back and pour out as they say Psalms 118.

“Save now, I pray, O LORD;
O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.”
Psalm 118:25 NKJV

They are saying to God – send now prosperity, send now salvation – they are asking God to send rain the coming year. Salvation is Yeshua in the Hebrew… and who appeared? Jesus! He is the answer to the cry of “send now prosperity, send now salvation”.

To order this message in its entirety, visit the Joseph Prince online store for Sermon CD #36.

Click on the link for additional teaching on the significance of Jesus in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Feasts are important to the Jewish people, but they also teach many things and reveal Jesus to us as believers.

Whether Jew or Christian, please join us in celebrating this important time in our shared heritage. Let it be your personal Season of Rejoicing!

Yom Kippur ~ 18 September 2010

Rothschild Mahzor, 1492, Italy. Image courtesy of the Jewish Theological Seminary

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for Jews. Atonement and repentance are its central themes. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known as the High Holy Days.

According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict. During the ten Days of Awe, Jews try to amend their behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God and against other human beings. The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt. At the end of Yom Kippur, one considers one’s self absolved by God.

For Jewish believers, Yom Kippur is seen more as a day of prayer and intercession on behalf of the people of Israel. Of course, we must have a clean heart when approaching God in this matter, just like the Temple priest did before he asked for mercies over his people.

The high priest first made atonement for personal sin (Leviticus 16). As believers we are still in need of introspection and repentance (Psalm 139:3, 1 John 1:9). We continue to have a need to humble our hearts before God (Psalm 34:183.

The high priest next made atonement for the tabernacle (Numbers 18). But those earthly items still needed atonement yearly in order to be fit for God’s dwelling. As believers, this is important because 1 Corinthians 3:16 reminds us that today, our physical bodies are temples of God, because the Holy Spirit lives in us. Even though Jesus (Yeshua) bears our iniquity (Isaiah 53:6) we still need to make atonement to allow the presence of God to fill us in a greater measure.

The high priest then interceded for God’s forgiveness upon the community. As believers, we are called to pray and intercede for the communities to which we belong, be they physical, emotional, geographical, spiritual, vocational, etc. Examples of intercession can be found many places in the Bible, including Exodus 32:11-14, Daniel 9:2-19, Isaiah 58, Ezra 9:1-6, Romans 8:26, Hebrews 7:25.

Yom Kippur begins in great solemnity as the ten days of repentance are concluded, but ends with great joy as atonement is made for the priest, the temple, and the community.

Messianic Believers also traditionally read from Hebrews 5-7 on Yom Kippur, which speak about Yeshua as the High Priest according to “the order of Melchizedek.”

Our sins are cleansed by the blood of Yeshua, our Savior and Messiah, but we participate in Yom Kippur by fasting and praying for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel as priests and representatives of the High Priest Yeshua today!

See Yom Kippur gift ideas on CelebrateYourFaith.com

Rosh Hashanah – 9 September 2010

Esslingen Mahzor, Germany, 1290. Image courtesy of the Jewish Theological Seminary

Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, is a Jewish holiday that is ordained in Leviticus 23:24 as “Zicaron Terua” (“a memorial with the blowing of horns”). As such, it is also referred to as the Feast of Trumpets.

Rosh Hashanah is the first of the High Holy Days, “Days of Awe”, or “Ten Days of Repentance”, which are ten days specifically set aside to focus on repentance, introspection, and making amends with others, culminating with the holiday of Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah focuses on the majesty and sovereignty of God to begin this time of repentance, and the shofar blasts wake us up to the need for repentance.

The day of Rosh Hashanah is referred to as a memorial. Days that are memorials are often a time for renewing commitments. Tradition teaches that Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the first day of creation. Creation speaks of an initially pure relationship with God. As believers, this relationship is restored to us through our belief in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Rosh Hashanah can be used as a time of prayer, introspection and repentance which lead to a renewal of our commitment to a holy relationship with God.

View our Rosh Hashanah gift ideas on CelebrateYourFaith.com.

Happy Pesach (Passover)

“Remember this day, on which you went free from Egypt, the house of bondage, how Adonai freed you from it with a mighty hand….” – Exodus 13:3

Visit the Judaica Guide for excellent background information about the Passover celebration and its meaning.

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