The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration to thank God for the blessings He bestowed upon the people during the Wilderness wanderings. God protected them on this forty year journey, and provided for them everything they needed.
His presence was in the form of a column of cloud by day, which transformed into a column of fire at night. This physical sign was to constantly remind the people that God was with them. He leaded them by sending these signs to the places they had to go, and when they stopped, the nation would set up camp.
In the Feast of Tabernacles, God’s presence with the nation is represented by the two elements of water and light. People will sprinkle water, and light candles during the festivities. Water signifies, for me, cleansing and healing. On days when I am extremely tired and feel overburdened, I try to find a swimming pool. There I will lay on my back, floating on the water, looking up into the sky. And talk to God as if His face is right there, where my eyes settle. Water is also the means of baptism, a ceremony where we declare our birth into a new family, with God as the Father and Jesus as our brother.
Light dispels darkness. It shows us what the reality is, and forces us to see our need for cleansing, and for God.
John repeatedly connects Jesus to the elements of water (John 7.37-38) and light (John 8.12), showing us that Jesus is better than the Feast of Tabernacles. In fact. Jesus went to the wilderness on our behalf, for forty days and forty nights. Like the nation Israel, He was tempted there, and He succeeded to resist the devil. In this, He gave us something new to celebrate: victory over sin!
Jesus is better then the Feast of Tabernacles, because He lights the way for us, and through His blood, we are cleansed.
Amen and amen.