This is the season for Hanukkah. Although this eight-day celebration occurs near the Christmas celebration (the exact date each year is determined by the lunar calendar), Hanukkah is not a “Christmas wannabe.” It is a completely separate holiday and it began long before Christmas existed. It is important for us to have a real understanding of Hanukkah and to celebrate this holiday with real faith because it has tremendous significance for our lives as Christians.
Jesus was in the Temple during Hanukkah—the Feast of Dedication—when the Jews gathered around Him and asked: “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” It is interesting that they were in the Temple at the exact time when they were celebrating the rededication of the Temple because this is very much what Christ was about: seeing the temple rededicated to the Father.
This Hanukkah should be a tremendous time for all of us. As in the days of the Maccabees, the Lord has given us this celebration as a time that we can separate ourselves from the defilement of this age and rededicate our lives to walking with Him and allowing Him to walk with us and to dwell within our lives.
- John 10:22–24. “At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem.”
- 1 Maccabees 4:36–59. “They celebrated the dedication … for eight days.”
- John 2:14–16. “He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:19. “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.”
- 1 John 1:9. “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.”
- 2 Corinthians 6:14. “Do not be bound together with unbelievers.”
- Ephesians 2:18–22. “Through Him we both have our access … to the Father.”
- “As we celebrate Hanukkah, we are reminded that we must also remove every trace of defilement from the temple—which is our body, heart, and spirit—before a rededication can take place.”
- “When Christ comes into your life at salvation, He does not build upon the old and defiled that your life has been. He removes the old. He builds upon the new life upon the foundation of Himself as He comes to dwell within you.”
- “Personally, I want an aggressiveness—a determination and a drive—to see the removal of everything in me that is defiled. I want all aspects of my life that have been defiled to be removed because I want to bring in the new and rededicate myself to Christ dwelling within me as the Temple of the Holy Spirit.”
- Growing In God #16 “Eight Reasons for Christians to Celebrate Hanukkah”
- Growing In God #17 “Hanukkah—Do Not Be Conformed to This World”
- Just as the temple had been defiled in the days of the Maccabees, today there are many people who have been defiled so that they no longer qualify as a place in which God can dwell.
- Just as the altar and the instruments of worship had to be remade and rededicated, this is a time for us to remake our lives in God. It is time to begin again and rededicate ourselves to the Lord.
- We must put the energy into tearing down and removing that which is defiled. We must be cleansed of the defilement within ourselves, and we must rededicate our lives in service to the Lord so that we might be that place in which He will dwell.
Father, let us celebrate this Hanukkah with deep meaning in our lives. Let it be a time of cleansing. Let it be a time of renewal. Let it be a time of change. Let it be a time of rededication. We ask you, Yeshua, to come into our lives, to remove the old—old things must pass away—and new things must be imparted to us that we must be given to, to bless and dedicate ourselves to walk in this age. And we know that we may have walked with you for years, but that is not enough. We must walk with you today—and that takes a new dedication. We ask you for your grace and your help to celebrate this Hanukkah as a new day of new beginnings and new dedication. Amen.