This month we will talk about how Yeshua relates to one of the most important “small holidays” of the people of Israel – Hanukkah.
If you are unfamiliar with the history of Hanukkah, Maccabean Books I and II are excellent reading for you at this time. They describe the history of Hanukkah.
The Second Temple was taken over by the Greco-Syrian oppressors of the Jewish people some 150 years before Yeshua was born. In 167 BC. Antiochus VI desecrated the Temple by sacrificing a pig on its altar. For many years, the Jews tried to revolt against their oppressors, but received little support. This is one of the saddest periods in Jewish history. Everything continued until a man named Mattathia Maccabee appeared!
God’s people have won!
Mattathias was a priest in the Temple, and it was his son Judas Maccabee who became the hero of this story. Dubbed the “hammer,” Judas ultimately led a rebellion against the Greeks that was victorious. The small group of Jewish people who camped in the mountains had to use unconventional tactics in battle. Under the leadership of Judas, they were able to defeat their oppressors, regain control of the Temple and purge it. The sacrificial system and priesthood were restored as described in Leviticus.
Why light candles?
It is very interesting that the First and Second Maccabean Books do not mention the miracle of the multiplication of oil in the a seven-branched candlestick (menorah) that stood in the Temple. But there is a well-known tradition that speaks of the Levites who tried to light the menorah and found oil that was enough for only one day. According to the legend, the oil burned supernaturally for eight days until more oil was made and delivered to the Temple.
The lamp burned day and night, as prescribed by the Scriptures. This is why the people of Israel light the Chanukiah every year for eight days of Hanukkah. This modified menorah has nine candles / lamps instead of seven, eight candles and a ninth attendant candle that lights the rest. Celebrations traditionally include fried food (to commemorate the miracle with oil) in remembrance of the victory that God gave Israel over its enemies.
What does Hanukkah have to do with Yeshua?
Let’s take a look at how Hanukkah relates to Yeshua. First, Judas “Hammer” Maccabee looks like a type of Yeshua. Although the Messiah did not appear on the scene armed like Judas, however, He came with strength and authority to neutralize the religious spirit that plundered and oppressed the people of Israel in the first century. Yeshua brought fresh revelation and direction on how to have a relationship with the Father. He came to bring freedom and life to God’s people. See the similarities?
Secondly, it is very likely that it was during the celebration of Hanukkah that Mary became pregnant (Miriam in Hebrew). If we believe that the Messiah was born on the Feast of Tabernacles and died on Passover, then, according to this schedule, his conception should have taken place on Hanukkah. This holiday is also called the Festival of Light, and Yeshua was born to be the Light of this world. It is quite logical that the Light of the world could be conceived on the Festival of Light!
Let us celebrate together with the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who came to this world with a miraculous power, bringing us freedom and life. He conquered sin and death, therefore, during this Hanukkah time, let us cherish the Light of the world who was revealed to you!
By Dustin Herron / firm.org.il