Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday of Lights - What is the Significance of Hannukah for Modern Christians?
Image Source

 Voice of the Lord

God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name (Philippians 2:9).
Jewish Date

Although Chanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) is not a festival specifically commanded in the Scriptures, we are told that Yeshua observed it in first-century Jerusalem (John 10:22). He certainly affirmed the importance of the Maccabean victory of 164 B. C. E. and celebrated the preservation of his people, Israel. A central part of the observance is the lighting of the nine-branched chanukkiyah (Chanukkah menorah, or lampstand) to commemorate the miracle of the oil.

We are told in the Talmud that as the Maccabees kindled the Menorah in the restored Temple, one day's worth of oil lasted for eight days until a new supply could be produced. Hence, we light one candle for each of the eight days. Why the ninth candle? We call this candle the shammash (servant). It is the first candle lit, kindled by the match; in turn, it gives light to the other eight candles. Although shammash means "servant," it is clearly exalted above the rest of the candles of the chanukkiyah. It stands taller than the others.

The shammash candle is a perfect picture of Yeshua the Messiah. He left his glory in heaven and humbled himself to become a shammash to mankind. Yet after his death, he was raised by the Father and exalted. We can only experience the light of God as we receive it from his Son, Yeshua, the Servant.

Thank you, Abba, for the light of your exalted servant, Yeshua HaMashiach (the Messiah)!*

Believers can celebrate this season along with their Jewish brothers and sisters...more in depth teaching from a Messianic perspective is available at this link if you are interested.  In addition there are instructions for the driedel game, the traditional game of the holiday!

For myself, I wanted to observe the holiday in a simple way.  I asked the Lord for help, and He gave me a simple verse and single thought for each candle.  Here is my celebration:

 You are welcome to use these same scriptures for your own Hanukkah lights - you can download a version at this link or a clean white background version at this link.

Till later, beloved...


*The italicized portion is taken from the Voice of the Lord edited by David J. Rudolph. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029.