By Jay Rogers
Published March 31, 2008
“You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days … And you shall rejoice, you and your son and daughter … because the Lord your God will bless you with increase in all the work of your hands, so that you shall be altogether joyful.”
- Deuteronomy 16:13,14,15
JERUSALEM (FR) – Why do Christians from all over the world come to Jerusalem to celebrate with the Jewish people during the Feast of Tabernacles? There are three Feasts in the Old Testament during which the Jewish people were commanded to come up to Jerusalem:
- The Feast of Passover
- The Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost)
- The Feast of Tabernacles
These feasts were the most important events of the year in Old Testament times. Today, we are seeing a resurgence of interest in the feasts from Jews the world over, as they come to Jerusalem each year to celebrate. But these feasts have a deep spiritual meaning to the Christian as well. In each one of these feasts, Christians can see one of the ministries of Jesus Christ in the earth. The feasts are a type or a symbol of the ministry of Jesus on earth. Christ’s ministry on earth while He was a man was a fulfillment of many Old Testament promises.
- On the feast of Passover, Jesus Christ gave Himself as the Passover Lamb. When He was crucified in Jerusalem, Jesus fulfilled the role of the sacrificial lamb, whose blood was shed to cover the sins of the Jewish people. In the New Testament, Jesus is called “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.”
- On the feast of Pentecost (or Weeks – Shavout), Jesus Christ gave the promised Holy Spirit to His disciples who were waiting in an upper room in Jerusalem. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit came the blessing of the “firstfruits” – a grain offering given 50 days after Passover. Pentecost was a fulfillment of the “former rain” (the Holy Spirit) which brought the first fruits of the Holy Spirit.
- On the feast of Tabernacles, the third feast of the Jewish calendar, there is no definite New Testament fulfillment. Many Christians who celebrate in Jerusalem each year at the Feast of Tabernacles are looking for the fulfillment of the “latter rain” which will bring the harvest – a great end time gathering of souls into the Father’s barn.
The latter rain was promised too, in the New Testament: “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the former and the latter rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
We must be careful about making any wild speculations about the coming of the Lord based on the coming fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. However, it is evident from the Scriptures that Jerusalem is to be the focal point of the fulfillment of the “latter rain.” What will the Lord give on the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem?
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