John 7:2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
Scripture is full of types and pictures, mysteries that are hidden or revealed according to God’s timing. Anyone who has read even just a few books of the Bible has surely noticed that certain numbers occur regularly and seem to have significance beyond their numeric value. For instance the number 40 (which occurs no less than 140 times in scripture) is a number of testing and trial. This meaning becomes clear when we consider the places 40 occurs, such as:
- Jonah in Nineveh proclaimed 40 days before God would overthrow them.
- Moses on Mt Sinai receiving the Torah for 40 days
- Moses’ life span was 120 years with three distinct periods that can be broken down to 40 years each … His time growing up in Egypt, His time in exile in Midian, and His time leading Israel.
- And Jesus was tested in the Wilderness for 40 days.
We also find special meaning behind the feasts that God gave Israel. Sukkot, or Booths, is a great example. Each day of this seven day pilgrimage festival, the High Priest would lead a parade down to the Pool of Siloam and fill a gold pitcher with water. He would take this golden pitcher of water back up to the Temple and to the Altar of Burnt Offerings where on one side of the altar were two silver pitchers. One pitcher contained wine and the other pitcher was filled with the water from the golden pitcher. Then, while the priest poured out these pitchers down the side of the altar, the congregation of Israel would sing from Psalm 118.
The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the Great High Priest. The Altar of Burnt Offering was given by instruction of God, originally for the Tabernacle, as a picture of Calvary, where Jesus would die for our sins. When Jesus had died on the cross, the Bible records that a Roman Soldier who had been sent to break the legs of the crucified to hasten their deaths found that Jesus was already dead. To be certain Jesus was dead, he thrust a spear into Jesus’ side and out flowed water and blood. So, you see, this daily water offering of Sukkot was a picture of Jesus.
But there’s more.
On the final, great day of Sukkot, the High Priest would return with an empty pitcher which he would symbolically pour out while reading from Isaiah:
Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring;
It was during this final dry pouring that Jesus cried out, “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.” Spiritual satisfaction can only come through Jesus, all other supposed paths to salvation are dry.
Amazing, right? There’s more …
Siloam as in the pool of Siloam, where the water for the daily Sukkot water libation was drawn … Siloam means “He sent.” The pitcher the High Priest took water from the pool with was made of Gold. Gold symbolizes royalty. The water from the gold pitcher was poured into a silver pitcher. Silver symbolizes redemption. Do you see it?
“God sent His royal Son to bring redemption by being poured out as an offering for our sins.”