Temple Institute hold water libation ceremonyPDFPrintE-mail
Written by Chris Perver  
Friday, 17 October 2014 18:46

Collecting water from the Shiloach streamFor the first time in nearly two thousand years, priests trained in the ordinances of the Jewish Temple held a re-enactment of the water libation ceremony. The ceremony used to be carried out during the days of the Feast of Tabernacles prior to the destruction of the Second Temple. Water was collected from Gihon Spring in a golden vessel and carried up to the Temple, where it was subsequently poured out on the altar. Wine was also poured out with the water. In this re-enactment, the water and wine were instead poured into other vessels, as the altar has not yet been reconstructed by the Temple Institute. The ceremony was accompanied by singing, the waving of palm branches and the blowing of the shofar and silver trumpets.

For the Jewish people, the Feast of Tabernacles and in particular the water libation ceremony, is meant to be a time of great joy. Inspiration for this ceremony is taken from Isaiah 12:3, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation”. The rabbis say that he who has not experienced the joy of the water libation has not experienced true joy. The pouring out of the water upon the altar is also associated with the pouring out of God's Holy Spirit in the last days. “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring”, Isaiah 44:3.

In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ may have attended such a ceremony. The last day of the Feast of Tabernacles is known as the Hoshana Rabbah, the Great Salvation. The Apostle John records how that on this day, the Lord Jesus Christ declared that He was the fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy and He was the one that the water libation ceremony was pointing to.

John 7:38-39
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

The Feast of Tabernacles is the last of the seven Feasts of the Lord. The first four feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost, all found their fulfilment in the Messiah at His first coming. The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on Passover (1st Corinthians 5:7). He was that Lamb of God that bears away the sins of the world (John 1:29). During Unleavened Bread His body was in the new tomb, and saw no corruption (Acts 13:37). He rose again on Firstfruits (1st Corinthians 15:20). And the Holy Spirit was sent on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). The three remaining feasts will yet find their fulfilment in Christ at His Second Coming: The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

As you can see, the fact that the nation of Israel is now preparing for the recommencement of the Temple ordinances shows us just how close we are to the fulfilment of these remaining feasts and the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ. The question is, are you ready to meet Him? Have your sins been washed in the blood of the Lamb? Jesus Christ was that passover Lamb. When the Lord passed through Egypt and saw the lamb's blood applied to the door posts of the house, He passed over that house. The death penalty had already been carried out. The lamb had died instead of the first-born. And by faith the people inside had applied the blood to their door posts in order to be saved from the coming judgement. It's the same for us today. When we accept by faith what the Messiah has accomplished on the cross of Calvary, we are saved from the coming judgement. God is righteous to pass over us because another has borne the penalty for our sins. Why don't you put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.

Acts 13:38-39
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.