Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of living water during the fall feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot. Water was an important theme during the seven-day Biblical holiday. Each day the high priest would carry water drawn from the Pool of Siloam and pour it into a bowl at the temple altar in Jerusalem.
The act symbolized prayer for rain and pointed to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the people of Israel, according to Bible commentator David Stern. Rabbis link the water pouring to Isaiah 12:3 – “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” The water pouring on the seventh and last day of Sukkot was accompanied by shofar blasts, singing, waving of palm branches and chants of the Hallel (Praise) Psalms, 113 through 118. It was during this celebration, and in the presence of all 24 divisions of the priesthood, that Yeshua cried out in the Temple, “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 (John 7:37-38).” He was speaking about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would follow His death and resurrection.
By receiving Yeshua we can look forward to the fulfillment of Tabernacles – dwelling with Messiah during the millennial reign and beyond. The Greek word for “tabernacle” is skene, meaning tent. We find that imagery in John 1:14 – “The Word was made flesh and dwelt (camped) among us.” A campsite seems friendly, personal and intimate. Perhaps that is why the LORD had Israelites build sukkahs – small, temporary shelters – during their exodus from Egypt. He wanted to draw them close to Himself.
Today is the final day of Sukkot in 2016. Yeshua’s invitation still stands.