What is Hanukkah? This is a Jewish holiday with a very important message for Christian believers. Hanukkah, known as the Festival of Lights, or the Feast of Dedication has an amazing link to Christianity as do most of the feasts spoken of in the Bible.
Look into this wonderful story, and discover for yourself its relevance to every Christian believer. See if you can recognize the connection between the supernatural grace released to push back the darkness embodied in this holiday and God’s dedication to us through giving His only begotten Son to bring His light back into the world!
To completely answer what is Hanukkah, I’ll provide some enlightening Hanukkah facts: Before 165 BC, the Jewish people who lived in Judea were under the rule of the Greek kings. King Antiochus Epiphanes took control of the Temple in Jerusalem, and forced them to give up all worship of God. He made them bow down to the Greek false gods.
Records clearly show that he defiled the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar, and spilling its blood on the holy Scripture scrolls. As a result of this persecution, a group of ONLY four Jewish brothers, led by Judah Maccabee,
assembled an army of warriors to fight against this evil control and blasphemy. After fighting for three tough years against all odds, a miraculous victory was achieved, and the Temple was rededicated to the Lord.
As part of this rededication, a flame representing God’s divine presence was to be lit for 8 days. However, most of the oil for this flame was defiled by the Greeks, and it would take a week for enough new oil to be purified. Though there was only enough oil for one day, the eternal flame burned miraculously for the eight days required during this ceremony, until more sacred oil was ready.
Hanukkah also means dedication, and has been commemorated for centuries by lighting a special nine-branched candelabra, called the menorah. One candle referred to as the “servant”, is used to light the others.
Jesus Christ is our perfect example of servant-hood as described in the following scripture. Phil 2:8-9 states: “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, to the point of death, and the death he died was that of a common criminal. That is why God has lifted him to the heights, and has given him the name above all names.”
Hanukkah is a picture of God’s precious Son, the Light of the World, and through the gift of His Spirit in us, we can be a Light as well!
So, what is Hanukkah to Christian believers? It is a time to remember our God’s faithfulness and abounding grace. It is a time to remember the need for us to persevere during persecution or trials UNTIL the victory comes. It is a time to remember that the same presence that filled the temple keeping the flame lit, lives in us helping us to shine like our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As Paul says in Colossians 2:16-17, these feasts are a shadow of things to come! As Believers, we will learn more about Him as we celebrate the festivals that were important to Him!
I trust that you now have an answer to what is Hanukkah to encourage you to experience this holiday. We invite you and your family to learn more about His Biblical feasts and watch the doors of God’s blessings open up for you to enjoy.