Zot Chanukah/This is Hanukkah
When we light the candles of Chanukah, we will light them for eight days, commemorating the mighty miracle that happened in Jerusalem a long time ago
. Chanukah, which means dedication is one of the most incredible of events concerning the history of Israel. Chanukah took place within 165 – 167 B.C. when the Emperor Antiochus Theos Epiphanes; “The Physical Manifestation of god”, was ruler over Israel and Judah. The Jews of that time called him Antiochus Epimanes (“Antiochus the Madman”). Antiochus desired to have the Jewish people assimilate to the ways of Hellenism, by outlawing Jewish practices of religion, Torah study, and Temple worship. He even set up a statue of Zeus in the Temple, and sacrificed pigs on the Altar. Many Jews considered this the abomination of desolation prophesied by the Daniel the Prophet (Daniel 8-12).
This abomination finally incited rebellion. And in 165 B.C. Mattathias and his son Judah “The Hammer” Maccabee organized a revolt and drove out the Syrian-Greeks from Israel. The Temple in Jerusalem was liberated, but needed to be rededicated for Jewish worship. Tradition says, there was only enough oil left, (which was needed to light the Temple Menorah) to burn for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days; the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the Menorah. So, an eight day festival was declared, and it was called Chanukah; the Feast of Dedication. The Temple was rededicated on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev. Amazingly enough, this day coincided with the finished work of the Tabernacle and the dedication of the foundations for Solomon’s Temple. Both of these structures represented the presence of G-D among Israel. It is also the day that Messianic Jews believe that Miriam (Mary) conceived of the Holy Spirit to eventually give birth to Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) our Savior and the Light of the world, who would be the very Presence of G-D on earth. Was the Light of the world conceived on the Festival of Lights (Chanukah)?
The Bible does not specifically give us the date of Messiah Yeshua’s birth. Yet, we know that it was not during the winter months because the sheep were still in the pasture (Luke 2:8). Also, it seems that John the Immerser was conceived in the Hebrew month Sivan, the eleventh week; according to the Order of Abijah (Luke 1:5-13, 24). John the Immerser was born on/about Passover (Nisan 14). Six months after John’s conception Mary conceived Messiah Yeshua (Luke 1:26-33) in the month of Kislev, during Chanukah! Messiah would later be born during the Feast of Tabernacles (John 1:14).
Chanukah is not only a time to remember the Light of the world Messiah Yeshua, and the great miracle that happened there in Jerusalem. It is also a time to remember the events that led up to the wonderful miracle of lights and the rededication of the Temple. Like the forces of assimilation (that Antiochus Epiphanes tried so hard to bring upon the Jewish people), the ways of the world continue to cast themselves upon the people of G-D trying to pull us away from all that is Holy. And so, G-D mercifully sent unto us His only Begotten Son, Messiah Yeshua so that we might see the Light and be saved from sin and death. This is truly the Season of Miracles. Chanukah is also a time of dedication and rededication unto the ways of G-D and unto His Word – the Living Word, Messiah Yeshua.
Then Yeshua again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” – John 8:12.