Chanukah/Hanukkah: The Feast of Dedication

Today starts the eight day celebration known as Chanukah/Hanukkah, which is also known as the Feast of Dedication. Most Christians have no idea about the importance or meaning of Chanukah, it is simply the Jewish holiday that lasts eight days, has the toy known as a dreidel as part of the celebration. Some perhaps may understand that the festival in a commemoration of God’s allowing a one day supply of olive oil to last eight days leading up to a victory by the Maccabees and the subsequent temple re-dedication. The temple needed re-dedication after Antiochus IV Epiphanes erected an altar to Zeus and sacrificed a pig in the temple. The festival celebrates God standing up and providing when a group was standing against forces aligning toward compromise with the pagan culture.

In learning more about this holiday, apparently there are ties with Mary conceiving Yeshua during Chanukah, which draws even more meaning to Yeshua being the light of the world. It is also when Yeshua posed the question to his disciples “Who do you say that I am?” So it was clearly a day when Jesus made sure it was fully known to his disciples, that he was in fact Messiah. Yeshua is also on record as declaring himself as Messiah in the temple during the feast of Dedication in John 10:22-40. So clearly, as believers in Yeshua as messiah, Chanukah is significant. Yet, for many of us it is not understood or even appreciated and simply seen as the “Jewish” alternative to Christmas.

Certainly it is worth further study by any Christian to gain better understanding of the provision of God. God clearly will provide as needed when a stand for truth is taken. Yet, not only his provision of when standing for truth, but also the time when Yeshua chose to declare himself as Messiah, both to his disciples and before the temple. Unfortunately, these facts are lost on most of the followers of Messiah because we have lost much over time. So as you take time to think about this Holiday season, take time to learn more about Chanukah and the significance it played in the life of Yeshua. It is only through Yeshua and God’s provision of His sacrifice that cleanses us from the defilement of our selfishness, sin, and compromise. It is only through Yeshua that any light of truth is found amidst the darkness. So, with those thoughts, I wish everyone a Happy Chanukah, for it is the time which Yeshua was conceived and made himself known as Messiah!