The Feast of Tabernacles, also called “Sukkot” is one of the 7 Biblical Feast Days that God outlines for us, as His people and His followers to observe and celebrate. As I mentioned in my latest post on the Feast of Trumpets, my husband and I are only just now exploring and walking through the Biblical Feasts of the LORD, the Biblical Feast Days of Yahweh, and looking to see what they mean from a very basic Biblical understanding. Many have said, “well, you aren’t Jewish!” and that is true! But when we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, when we decide to “leave everything and follow HIM,” we become grafted into the tree. We have been adopted into the family of God. If you are part of a family and they celebrate the birthday or holiday of a step-sister or step-brother would you not also rejoice and participate? Of course you would!
We’re still grappling through all of this and what it means for us and our family. But we do know that we are called to live lives set apart. We know that we are called to trust in the Lord and follow His ways and seek to be more like Him. Here is the handout my husband made regarding Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles that we used at our 8th day feast, celebration last night!
Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)
“Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.” Lev 23:39
The feast of tabernacles is one of the LORD’s appointed times that He commanded His people to observe yearly. God has a prophetic calendar, and he has let us know when His appointed times are so that we can be watchful and aware of the things He has done and is going to do. There are seven yearly appointed times: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles. The first 4 appointed times occur every Spring and the last 3 occur every Fall.
The Hebrew word for “appointed time” is mow’ed (Strongs H4150) and is usually translated as “feast” in most English bibles. This word can mean: an appointed place, an appointed time, meeting, appointment or a sign/signal. During each appointed time, God commands his people to hold a holy or set apart convocation. The Hebrew word for convocation is qara’ (Strongs H7121) which can mean “a set apart calling together of the people”, but it can also mean “a set apart rehearsal.” When we celebrate and observe God’s appointed times, we are rehearsing for the things Christ is going to fulfill and celebrating the things He has fulfilled already.
Paul reiterates this fact when he tells us that all of God’s appointed times are prophetic shadows of events that have been or are yet to be fulfilled by Jesus Christ. In Colossians 2:17, Paul says: [the appointed times] are a shadow of things to come; but the substance is of Christ. Observing these events keeps us in the shadow of our Messiah and keeps us walking in God’s ways as we wait for and celebrate the amazing things He has done and will do for us!
Prophecy Fulfilled through the Feast Days
Here are some of the ways Jesus Christ quite literally fulfilled the prophetic shadows of the Spring appointed times (These are the main points, but we could spend hours finding more):
- He was crucified on Passover at the exact time that Passover lamb was being slaughtered in the temple.
- He was buried sinless (without leaven) on the Festival of Unleavened Bread at the exact time all the people were removing all leaven from their homes.
- He rose from the dead and, as our high priest, presented himself to the Father as a First Fruits offering of those risen from the dead (Corinthians 15:20). He did this on the Festival of First Fruits at the exact time the high priest was waving the First Fruits offering before the presence of God in the temple.
- He sent His Holy Spirit to write His law on our heart on Pentecost – the day that commemorated when God wrote his law on tablets of stone at Sinai 1600 years prior.
The Israelites had been rehearsing all of these events for 1600 years before Christ fulfilled them, and this helped them recognize who Christ was when he came! Because Christ so literally fulfilled these Spring appointed times at his first coming, we have the hope and excitement of rehearsing for the things he will fulfill as we watch and wait for his second coming!
Awaiting Christ’s Return
The feast of tabernacles is celebrated by living in temporary dwelling places (or tabernacles) for 7 days followed by a HUGE party on the 8th day. The feast of tabernacles was first given “so that your generations may know that I made the Israelites live in tabernacles when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am LORD your God.” However, the Feast of Tabernacles also has a greater future fulfillment and looks forward to the return of Jesus when He will dwell among (or tabernacle among) His people. When we keep this feast, we are rehearsing for the amazing celebration and joy that we will experience when we dwell with the physical presence of our Lord Jesus:
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
When Jesus was here on earth, he celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. It was during the 8th day celebration that Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the source of living water:
John 7:2 Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Only time will tell the exact way Jesus will fulfill the appointed time of tabernacles! In the meantime, let’s gather together as brothers and sisters in Christ as we rejoice in and rehearse the things Christ is going to do in the future!
Reasons to celebrate Tabernacles:
Jesus celebrated Tabernacles
- Paul and all the apostles celebrated Tabernacles
- God commanded us to keep this appointed time (and all His appointed times). God has set apart this time for us to gather together and fellowship with him. As his children, He desires for us to remember and celebrate these days. When we observe the things God has commanded us, we are aligning ourselves with God’s prophetic calendar as we watch, wait and rehearse for his soon return!
And one last reason to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles…When Jesus returns to set up his kingdom, every nation will be celebrating the feast whether they want to or not!
Zech 14:16 Then all who survive from all the nations that came to attack Jerusalem will go up annually to worship the King, the LORD who rules over all, and to observe the Feast of Tabernacles.
Zech 14:17 But if any of the nations anywhere on earth refuse to go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD who rules over all, they will get no rain.