Another fascinating ceremony associated with the Feast of Tabernacles involved lights. Each afternoon four huge menorahs illuminated the court of the Temple and the pious men would dance before the lamps with burning torches in their hands. It is said that the light from these menorahs was so bright it penetrated every courtyard in Jerusalem. This festivity would last all night until dawn.
The light of the menorahs had two meanings: the first was symbolizing the glory of God that had filled the first Temple (I Kings 8:10-11). The second was anticipating the “Great Light” who would soon come and bring light to those who were spiritually dead and dwelling in darkness (Isaiah 9:2).
Perhaps it was during the light celebration, or when the lights were extinguished on the eighth day, that Jesus said for all to hear, “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 crowd understood that Jesus was proclaiming that he is the Great Light who Isaiah said would come, and is God in the flesh–the Glory of the Temple (John 1:14).
He affirmed who he was
The eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles was called the “Last Good Day.” It was a Sabbath day, designed for rest and reflection on all that had been celebrated during the previous seven-day festival. On this day Jesus came to the Temple and healed a blind man by anointing his eyes with clay and then sending him to the pool of Siloam to wash (John 9:7).
With this miracle Jesus validated everything He had said and done during the Feast. By doing the impossible He proved He was God in the flesh–the true dispenser of the Holy Spirit and the only source of light and life.
Susan Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. The ICEJ sponsors the annual Christian Celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles and can be viewed live online at www.feastoftabernacles.live