Jesus And Hanukkah, the Light of the World!

Written by gregdenham on December 10th, 2014

At this time of year my thoughts go back to Jerusalem, not so much Bethlehem. When December rolls around I find myself particularly thinking about John 10:22. It says it was winter and Jesus was in Jerusalem atop the Temple Mt. commemorating the “Feast of Dedication” (Hanukkah) and He is there because He is “the Light of the world”.

Feast of Dedication? Hanukkah? Festival of Lights?

I’ll explain.

It was the year 175 B.C. and the defilement continued for ten years. A Syrian leader named “Antiochus Ephines” conquered Jerusalem murdering hundreds of thousand of Jews. Antiochus was a man shoulder to shoulder with the “Hitler’s” of history. Yet Antiochus was particularly delusionary — for he made himself to be God, calling himself “Theos-Ephiphenes!” In this way he is a type of “Anti-Christ” who is on the horizon. 2 Thess. chapter two indentifies this man who will stand in the Temple in Jerusalem and claim to be God. Antiochus not only defiled the Temple by claiming to be God but he butchered a pig and smeared its blood all around the altar and temple, even forcing the high priests to drink the blood. Meanwhile, a Jewish family by the name of Macabee’s spearheaded a revolt against Antiochus. One of Macabee’s son named Judas, played a particular role in the other-throw.

Once Antiochus was removed, the focus became the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem!

It was 164 B.C. the 25 of Kislev(some believe Dec. 25) but there was not enough oil to burn the seven branched Menorah in the Temple for an entire rededication week but to everyone’s surprise, the oil lasted eight days!

In type the miracle speaks of the new creation that is brought into existence by the Light of the World, the Messiah Jesus.

In addition, in the Jewish observance of this festival there is a ninth candle that rests in an exalted place above the other eight candles. This candle is used to ignite each of the eight other candles that produce enough light to cover all eight days. The exalted candle is called the “Shamash” candle. Shamash means “Servant”.

Jesus is THE SERVANT! Isaiah 49:6 speaks to this …

“Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant. To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation(the word in the Hebrew is Jeshua or Jesus) to the ends of the earth.’” Isaiah 49:6

Jesus is the one who ignites the world with divine life by His saving grace! Jesus came to make all things new.

In a time when life feels so crammed with obligation and the stress that more often accompanies this season with its emphasis upon materialism, I like to ask myself, “Is the SERVANT(Jeshua/ Jesus ) in the exalted place in my life?”

May it be so. And may it be so in your life as well. May your life be lit up with glory of God in Christ. He is more than enough!

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