Hanukkah – What is it?

Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication, is not one of the ordained feasts from the bible, but we do see from scripture that Jesus observed it. John 10:22 says “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.”

The history of Hanukkah, in brief, as told by this Christian gentile is as follows:

Three years after the Greek king Antiochus (a prototype of the Antichrist) forcibly introduced the sacrifice of pigs in 167 BC, the Jews recaptured the Temple Mount. They proceeded under the leadership of the Maccabees to cleanse the area, tore down the desecrated altar and built a new one as the Lord had told them to in Exodus 23: 24. The great Menorah, the candelabra of gold needed to be lit as they were told to do in Lev 24: 1-4. Rummaging through the Temple the priests found a tiny amount of oil and the lamp was lit. The Temple was back in Jewish control. Sadly, there was only enough oil for one day. The priests returned to the Temple and watched the lamp, sadly waiting for the rapidly approaching moment when the flame would flicker and die. But something both great and very small happened. Though the priests waited, the flame never died. The first day ended and yet the flame still burned. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh days all come and went but the flame refused to die. Finally, after eight days, the men returned with enough oil for the temple lamp.

Just as Jesus was at the temple at Hanukkah, we can share with our Jewish friends the Hanukkah story of unwavering commitment to God and His Word and to our determination not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Hannukah CelebrationFor the Jewish families all over the world who celebrate Hanukkah, this is not just a private observance……the candles are placed in a window of the home so that others can see the celebration of the miracle. As the Feast progresses there is more and more light in more and more windows. Truly, darkness flees. The people are joyful – even fasting is forbidden during Hanukkah.

Hanukkah is a celebration of God’s Light to the World and a true definition of the power of the Holy Spirit. Just a little oil……and the world is changed.