I am so blessed to be able to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. Granted I don't celebrate Christmas like most people do, but it is a joyful time for me as a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah.
As Messianic Jewish believers, we celebrate this holiday in remembrance of a great miracle God performed for the Jews. Each night for eight days, my husband and I place colorful candles in a Hanukkah menorah in remembrance of God’s miracle working power.
The holiday originated when Judah the Maccabee and his followers reclaimed the temple from Syrian King Antiochus IV. The temple was cleansed and prepared for rededication. The Hebrew word Hanukkah means "dedication." When the sacred temple Menorah (candelabra) was relit, there was only enough sacred oil to burn for one day. Yet, the oil miraculously lasted eight days until more purified oil could be found. Hence, the expression: “A Great Miracle Happened There”.
Yeshua observed Hanukkah, as recorded in John 10: 22-23: “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple, in Solomon’s porch.” He was there, in His Father’s House, to observe the Feast of Hanukkah. It is also significant that in John 8:12 Yeshua declared, “I am the Light of the World”. This statement would have great impact during the Feast of Dedication. The Jews knew exactly what He was saying. He was declaring Himself to be G-d.
This week, my husband, Rabbi Jem and I along with the members of our congregation, celebrate Hanukkah together with singing, dancing, food, drink, and much talking together. We remember that our God is a miracle working God. Not just in the Bible, but in our own lives today. It is traditional to sing the song Rock of Ages. Most Christians don’t know this Jewish song which commemorates Hanukkah. As we sing it, we also remember that Yeshua is our Rock of Ages who saves us from sin’s power:
Rock of Ages let our song
Praise thy saving power
Thou amidst the raging foes
Was our sheltering tower.
Furious, they assailed us,
But thine armour veiled us.
And thy word broke their sword
When our own strength failed us
The light (Yeshua) has come into the world, and that flame never dies in the hearts of believers. That holy oil continues to burn and give hope to those of us who have accepted Yeshua into our hearts. I can testify that a great miracle happened in my life when Yeshua came in. In spite of trouble or hardship or conflict, my hope never dies. That oil just keeps on burning, just as it did at the first Hanukkah.
As we remember the traditions of this Feast of Dedication, we have also added a new one: to take this time to rededicate our lives to let the “Light” shine through us. We possess the message so needed by the world.
During our service, we will also sing the song "Yeshua is the Light" by Zemer Levav. I hope you will take the time to listen and to remember that His Light can overcome any darkness in your life.
I am linking up with: Faith Filled Friday