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 (John 7:37).

Great Day of the Feast—A few days after the ceremonies of the great day of the Atonement, in which solemn expiation was made for the sins of the people, the Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated. This feast commemorated the passage of the Israelites through the wilderness, and was celebrated with such joy that both Josephus and Philo call it “the holiest and greatest feast.” It was kept for seven consecutive days, from the 15th to the 21st of Tisri, and the 8th day was celebrated by a holy convocation. Each morning a vast procession formed around the little fountain of Siloam down in the valley of the Kedron. Out of the flowing waters the priests filled a large golden pitcher. They proceeded to the temple and one of the priests poured the water upon the altar. As the water was poured the people joined in the song of praise, “God is my song, He also is become my salvation! Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

In the midst of this magnificent festal rejoicing, Jesus cried aloud, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. It is the cry which resounds throughout the whole of Scripture and which had already been laid upon the kindly lips of prophets. Jehovah’s invitation, “Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,” Jesus here distinctly appropriates to himself. In this cry the Lord Jesus delights to reveal his readiness to save all souls needing salvation, from the time of his pronouncing those blessed who thirst, in Matthew 5:6, on to the word in Revelation 22:17, “Let him that is athirst, ...

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