The Day of Atonement symbolizes the reconciliation of God and all humanity.
In Jewish tradition: On the Day of Atonement all sin is dealt with. It is a most solemn day as the people realize their unworthiness as they stand before God. Yet, with humble hearts, emptied of sin, they look to the “blood of the sacrifice” to make them acceptable in His presence. This is when the High Priest enters the Most Holy Place.
The Day of Atonement looks forward to the time during which Satan’s deception will be removed and he will no longer be free to influence and deceive mankind (Revelation 20:1-3).
The Day of Atonement serves as a vital preparatory step in anticipation of the next milestone in God’s glorious Holy Day plan, beautifully depicted by the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Feast of Tabernacles
The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles pictures the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ over the earth after His second coming (Revelation 20:4).
This Feast also reflects the “rest” symbolized by the weekly Sabbath (Hebrews 4:1-11) that celebrates the great harvest of humanity when all living people will learn God’s ways. Humanity will at last be restored to a right relationship with God.
Isaiah 11:9,10 “They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.”
The name of the Feast of Tabernacles derives from God’s command to ancient Israel to build temporary “tabernacles,” sometimes called ”booths,” to live in during the festival. The Bible emphasizes that, as with booths or temporary dwellings, our physical life is transitory.
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” -2 Corinthians 5:1-2
The Feast of Tabernacles or the festival of “Booths,” occurs for seven days, from Tishrei 15 to 21.
“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.” -Leviticus 23:34
There is a quick transition from the high holidays, with their somber mood of repentance and judgment, to a holiday of rejoicing and celebration, for which the people are commanded to build a hut and make it their home.
The Bible identifies the booth with the temporary dwellings in which the Israelites lived in the wilderness after they left Egypt on their way to the Promised Land (Leviticus 23:42). God desired the tabernacle in the wilderness be built because He wanted to dwell with his people (Exodus 29:44-45).
The temporary booths are called Succah. Jews live and entertain in them throughout the seven days of the Feast. The structures are flimsy. Through the roof you can see the sky, the stars, the clouds, or even experience the wind or the rain.
By living in the succah the people are reminded that life on earth is temporary. Ahead for us is a building whose creator is the Lord.The Feast of Tabernacles completes the sacred festivals of the seventh month. In contrast to the somber tone of Rosh HaShanah and the Day of Atonement, the third feast of Tishrei was a time of joy. The Feast of Tabernacles is called the “Season of Our Joy.”
Historically, the Feast of Tabernacles
commemorates the days in the wilderness of Sinai, after the people came out of
Egypt. According to all natural laws, the Israelites should have
perished, but were instead divinely protected by God.
The Hebrew word for tabernacle is ‘sukkah’. It means “a booth, a hut, a covering, a pavilion or tent.”
The Greek word for tabernacle is
’sk’en’e’, which also means “a tent, hut, or habitation.”
With this in mind, let’s look at the context by which the word tabernacle is used in the New Testament.
1. Jesus tabernacled among us (John 1:14)
2. Peter spoke about his body being a tabernacle (2 Peter 1:13-14)
3. The apostle Paul told us that our earthly bodies were earthly houses or tabernacles (2 Corinthians 5:1-5)
4. The tabernacle of Moses was a tent of habitation (Acts 7:44, Hebrews 9:2-8)
5. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tabernacles (tents) (Hebrews 11:8-9)
6. The tabernacle of David was a tent or dwelling place (Acts 15:16, Amos 9:11). This tabernacle was the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 5:2-5, 8:1-21)
7. Jesus entered the temple on the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2,27-29)
8. The Bible speaks of a heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 8:1-2, Revelation 13:6, 15:5). This heavenly tabernacle will come to earth (Revelation 21:1-3)
9. Jesus is the true tabernacle of God (Hebrews 9:11)
God designed the agricultural and weather seasons in Israel to parallel
the life of every believer in Christ who seeks to love Him and serve Him
with all his heart.
Every time a person receives the Lord Jesus as his own Savior, he spiritually experiences Passover. He is to flee Egypt, the world’s evil system, trust in the Lord, and allow Christ to be the doorpost of his heart.
As believers, we are then to seek to live holy lives before God. Just as Jesus rose from the dead, we are to consider our former ways dead to us and experience the newness of life in Him. Spiritually, we have experienced the spring harvest of Israel in our lives. When we accept Jesus into our hearts and lives, He begins to teach us the Bible and show us how much He loves us, and we begin to grow in the knowledge of Him.
Spiritually, we will also experience the
dry summer season of Israel. Many things in our lives will not go the way we expect them to, or how we trust God for them to go.
In the process of experiencing life’s bitter disappointments and struggles, if we keep our eyes upon God, He will take us from Passover to Pentecost. There He will reveal His ways and his Word, in a deeper and more progressive way.
It is when we spiritually experience the fall festivals — especially the Feast of Tabernacles, and enter into our spiritual promised land that God will anoint our lives for Him in an awesome way, as we live and serve Him, and we will then experience the greatest joy in our entire lives. Joy unspeakable!
But we will experience the joyful expression of dancing, praise, victory, peace, and the power of God in our lives.
Both the anointing of the Holy Spirit and great knowledge of spiritual truths will be present in our lives in order that we may accomplish the purpose God has for every one of our lives.
Therefore, we have the anointing of God on our lives so we may help to do our part to build up the Body of Christ to full maturity and to establish the Kingdom of God on earth until we come to that day when we will rule and reign with the Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords on earth during the Messianic age, the Millennium, and for all eternity.
Passover – The Feast of the Lord
Pentecost – The Feast of the Holy Spirit
Succot – The Preparation for our eternal life with the Father.
Feast on His plan and His promise and rejoice!