This post is part of the series 8 Gifts of Chanukah.
Tonight the seventh candle is lit.
Gift #7 of Chanukah -LIGHT
Imagine the magnificent sight of the giant menorah blazing from Mount Zion. That light had been out for a long time, but now it could be seen for miles and miles. It was a testament to the presence of the G-d of the Universe.
The Temple of ADONAI sat on top of a big hill in the city of Jerusalem. This is why Bible passages speak of going "up" to that place. I've been to the Temple mount twice, and it is a unique experience.
|photo from commons.wikipedia.com|
The photo above is a current-day version of the Old City in Jerusalem at night. I like to imagine what is must have looked like back then, especially if seen from the Mount of Olives, just across the Kidron Valley. It must have been an inspiring sight to see that blazing menorah.
The Scriptures show us that the LIGHT in the Temple was to burn continually, not just at night. You can read this in Exodus 27:20-21 and Leviticus 24:1-4. If ADONAI says something twice, it must be very important, right? The LIGHT had to be maintained both morning and at night, with oil refilled and the wicks trimmed. Plus, the holy oil had to be in production continually. Maintaining the LIGHT in the Temple was an important responsibility.
Have you ever thought of what a gift LIGHT is? In the first chapter of B'resheet (Genesis), we read that LIGHT was one of ADONAI's first creations. Think about what life is like when your LIGHTS go out. Everything stops, right?
In the story of Chanukah, we are reminded that LIGHT is important to G-d. He doesn't want us to live in darkness, physically or spiritually. When the Temple was restored, He provided the LIGHT because it is central to worship of Him. LIGHT drives out darkness. LIGHT enables us to see clearly.
LIGHT is a symbol, or type, of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit). Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated Chanukah, and while attending that celebration at the Temple in Jerusalem, declared Himself to be the LIGHT of the World. I'll talk about that tomorrow and how this relates to Chanukah today, as well as the spiritual lessons of LIGHT in our lives.
You can learn more about Chanukah in this series from last year: 8 Days of Chanukah
This is how we combine Chanukah with a celebration of Yeshua's birth: Christmas Unplugged