sometimes studying the Bible is just a wild, exciting ride for me
friday afternoon i was blown away by the following information...and because i am a total "light girl" (ever since i can remember i've turned on all the lights in a house, opened drapes, lit candles), i was simply ah-mazed at God
during the feast of tabernacles (also called booths), jews would set up temporary homes on the jerusalem hillsides
this would have been their third pilgrimage of the year to jerusalem and it was a trip to acknowledge the harvests and God's provisions during the jews' 40 year wilderness trip in the desert
jesus would have made this trip every year with his family
how odd that along with the thousands of other pilgrims the savior himself would have chanted H O S A N N A! (meaning "save, please")
you can imagine what the jerusalem hillsides must have looked like at night with all those shelters being lit by lamps...breathtaking!
another feature of the feast was illumination of the temple. the pilgrims who came to the temple would bring lights and torches. further, the golden lamps stands would also be lighted illuminating the temple. this, too, prophetically looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. (bibletruth.org)
at the end of this joy-filled feast, tents and shelters would come down as people began the long trips back home. the huge menorah, kept burning by young priests climbing ladders to replenish the oil, would be extinguished
little by little, the once blazing hillsides would become darker and darker
i suppose it would have been a real downer to have had made the long journey on foot and experienced an amazing time of fellowship and thanksgiving...laughter and joy...good food and wine...visiting with people you love --
only to have it end all too soon and have to begin the exhausting trip back home
the increasingly darker hillside (like taking down the Christmas lights) as people left must have been a depressing sight indeed
and so it is amazing to find out that one of jesus' most familiar statements was actually spoken at this very time of let-down...such powerful and personal meaning must have hung from each word he spoke
"when Jesus spoke again to the people [at the end of the feast of booths], he said i am the LIGHT of the world. whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
1. He understood their feelings of sadness that such a joyful time was ending
2. And He let them know Messiah had come...it.was.HIM
it was palm sunday yesterday...always a bittersweet service for me, knowing what's around the corner. the murder of pure and good Light.
this year, hosanna will have a different meaning because of what i've learned about the feast of booths
"...we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God."
-- Oswald Chambers
We lived in the Alaskan bush during the summer of 2005 and return each summer. God Rocks.