Rabbi Schneider - Yeshua's Fulfillment of Hoshanna Rabbah
This is during the Feast of Sukkot. Now we're in John 7. John 7 is about Jesus going into the temple. He was teaching in the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles. So we're going to pick up now in verse 37. "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast..." Yeshua is in the temple. It's during the Feast of Tabernacles, and now it's the seventh and the last day of this great feast of celebration. The last day, a ceremony took place known as Hoshana Rabbah. It was a water-pouring ceremony. It was called the great day of the feast.
And what would happen, Beloved ones, is that the priests would gather, and the Levites would gather and they would walk from the temple down to the pool of Siloam. And then the priests would take a pitcher, and he would dip the pitcher into the pool of Siloam, gather up water, then they would march back to the temple, singing and praising. And we read stories of what took place literally during the time that the temple was standing in Yeshua's day. And the stories tell us that rabbis would be a praising God standing on their head, doing somersaults. I mean that were ecstatic in praise. I mean, just craziness in the positive sense of the word. They were so exuberant with praise and celebration.
And the reason is that when the priests and Levites got to the temple with the water in the pitcher from the pool of Siloam, they would then pour that water on the altar at the temple. And that's when the praise would reach its craziest height. I mean, in a positive sense, just so over the top, because the water being poured out on the altar represented two things. It represented the rain, the physical rain that Israel was looking for their Father, for Father God, to pour out upon their land in the coming winter months, because this feast took place in the fall and winter was shortly to follow. So they were looking forward and believing that the Father was going to pour forth rain on their fields in the winter months ahead so that they have a grateful harvest in the spring.
So that was the first reason they were thanking and praising God for. The water being poured out on the altar represented the rain they were believing the God of Israel to pour out on their land. But there's another reason that's just as important and actually much more important. And that is that the time that this took place, the time that I'm reading about, historically, 2,000 years ago, was a time where there was tremendous messianic fervor and excitement in Israel. The Jewish people were looking for the Messiah every day. That's why we read so much about the Messiah in not only the Gospels, but in the book of Acts and other places in the Scripture. It was a time of great messianic expectation. They were believing that Messiah would come any day, liberate Israel from under the yoke of the Romans who were occupying their land. They were looking for the fullness of the Messianic prophecies to be fulfilled.
And so that water being poured out on the altar on this day that we're reading about here represented the Spirit of the Lord, the Ruach, the breath of God that was to be poured out when Messiah came. So as the priests poured, Beloved, that water on the altar at the temple during this last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, it represented to the praisers that Messiah is coming soon and the Lord's spirit will be poured forth upon the earth and it will cover the earth even as the waters cover the sea. A time of great messianic expectation.
So on this day when the water is being poured out with high messianic expectation, listen to what Jesus says. "Now on the last day, the great day the feast," the day that I've been describing, called Hoshana Rabbah, "Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" So Jesus was saying, I am the One that you're looking for. If you come to Me, the spirit that you're looking for, the Ruach that you're praising Adonai for right now, the hope of your messianic expectation, if you come to Me, you'll find your Messiah. I am the Messiah. And the spirit that you seek will flow out of your innermost being, and you'll thirst no more.