Theme Sukkot in NT Times Jesus’ Words Future Fulfillment
LIGHT In the Temple area, four enormous candelabra were lit and a procession of worshipers carried smaller torches. This beautiful ceremony of light within the court of the women illumined the entire city of Jerusalem. It was at this time that Jesus announced in the Temple area, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” John 8:12. “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it” (Revelation 21:23-24).
WATER The water pouring ceremony at the altar each day was accompanied by recitation of the Great Hallel (Psalms 113-118). The “last great day,” “Hoshana Rabbah” was either the 7th day or the 8th day. The ceremonies served part of a prayer to God for rain. “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘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.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive” (John 7:37-39a). “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2), see also Rev. 22:4-5.
GOD’S DWELLING Jewish people constructed booths (sukkot) and lived in them for a week to symbolize God’s protection and presence during the wilderness travels. For the biblical idea of “protection, divine presence,” see Lev. 23:43; Ps. 27:5; Ps. 31:20. See also the messianic passage in Zechariah 14:16. In the time of Christ, the symbolism of bringing the nations to the worship of God was also prominent. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory…” (John 1:14). Like the glory that filled the Old Testament tabernacle, Messiah’s incarnation and dwelling among us shows His glory—one that believing Jews and believing Gentiles will experience forever in heaven. “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God'” (Revelation 21:3), see also Rev. 22:17.