The Jewish feast of SUKKOT, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths, began at sunset last Sunday and ends today at sunset. Sukkot is one of three pilgrimage festivals celebrated every year by Jews around the world. It begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishri and lasts for seven days. In ancient Israel, Sukkot was a time to gather together, celebrate, and thank God for the Autumn harvest. Jewish observers of this holiday often build small foliage-covered shelters called 'sukkahs'. They will eat, and sometimes sleep, in them during the week-long holiday. These 'booths' are patterned after the makeshift temporary shelters the farmers would build during the days of harvest. Sukkot is also intended to remind the Jews of the type of fragile dwellings in which their ancestors dwelt during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after God delivered them from slavery in Egypt. It is important to note that God came down from heaven and dwelt in a tent, a tabernacle, among them. So, what does Sukkot mean for Christians today? It is a reminder that God want's to tabernacle with us - His adopted children. He wants to fellowship with each of us like He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Re-establishing that relationship has been God's desire all along since the fall of man when sin entered the picture and short-circuited things. But God was not caught off-guard at all. Somehow in His infinite wisdom He knew that man would not be able to fulfill his purpose here on Planet Earth without help. At the appointed time Jesus came, busting down all the barriers that sin had erected, and paved the way for a renewed relationship. In the natural the tabernacle was a picture of this, having a thick veil separating man from the Most Holy Place where God dwelt. At Jesus' death this curtain was ripped in two and access given to anyone who would believe. Let Sukkot be a reminder to you of how much your Heavenly Father desires to tabernacle with you and the great cost that was paid to make it possible.
So, friends, we can now--without hesitation--walk right up to God, into "the Holy Place." Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The "curtain" into God's presence is his body. So let's do it--full of belief, confident that we're presentable inside and out. Heb. 10:19,20 MSG
Pastor Frank Dodson