John 7:37-38 “On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
Let me give you some background to today’s anchor scripture. The festival here is the festival of Tabernacles also knows as the festival of Shelters, or the festival of Booths [Succoth]. There are two dimensions to the festival of Tabernacles; there is a Historical Dimension and there is the Agricultural Dimension to the festival. The Historical Dimension to the festival of tabernacles is linked to the time the Jews were in the wilderness. They were living in tents, in booths, and in shelters. So, God instituted this festival so that they never forget where they are coming from. God is a God of remembrance. When you become big and mighty, God wants you to always remember the days of little beginnings. But sometimes, most times, we want to forget it. It is even easier to forget. Do you know that it is very easy to forget affliction? “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream…”. I have seen people that struggled for so long, then God helps them. The way they carry themselves is as if they came out from the womb that way. They look down on everybody and I wonder because this person was there, they should know how it feels. The historical dimension was that God wanted them to always remember the time they were in the wilderness without water. Exodus 7:1-7 [please read], Moses had to get water from the rock.
The Agricultural Dimension is, the period that this festival happens is the time known as the ingathering of the crops [from September to the end of the year], it is a time of harvest. The ingathering is a special kind of harvest where you bring in everything from the year and everything that had been from the previous year. The harvest usually is so much so, the farmers and the harvesters have to stay on the farm in booths, shelters, or tabernacles.
“On the last day, the climax of the festival…”. Every Jew knows this, and it is documented in the Mishna and other books apart from the Bible. What happens on the last day of the feast is, the high priest leads a procession from the temple to the pool of Siloam. As he leads the congregation, they are chanting and reciting scriptures. He takes a pitcher or a bucket, he fetches water, and then leads the procession back to the temple reading scriptures of God’s salvation and deliverance such as Ps.118 [please read]. When they get to the temple, all the people are gathered this was the climax. The high priest takes the pitcher and pours the water and then quotes Isaiah 12:3 “With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!” Now, imagine this, as the high priest was pouring the water, Jesus stood up and shouted, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink!” He signed His death warrant right there and then. There was no way the people could understand it and that is why they kept asking Him, “Are you greater than Moses?” Jesus said, “Before Moses was, I am!”, meaning, I made Moses.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me drink deeply of the Word of Truth, in Jesus Name, Amen!