Jesus Celebrates Hanukkah

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John 10:22 ** Now it was the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.

The Feast of Dedication was the last feast Jesus celebrated during the actual eight day celebration of this religious holiday of our God’s chosen people. This was because He celebrated the next Holy Feast of Passover early with His disciples. He knew an early feast was necessary because He was the wonderful celebration of all of mankind as the sacrificed Lamb of God for Passover. Without His sacrifice and shedding of pure and holy blood as a lamb without blemish (without sin); there would be only eternal death for man and descendants as promised by our Creator (Genesis 2:17). That very day of disobedience began a slow death with all the pain, misery and suffering of man’s descendants to this day.

Now the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) is related to the first Dedication of the Tabernacle established in the wilderness as prescribed by our Lord in Numbers 7:10-11…Now the leaders offered the dedication offering for the altar when it was anointed; so the leaders offered their offering before the altar. For the Lord said to Moses, “They shall offer their offering one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar”.** This first celebration offering lasted 12 days as a tribal leader from each of the 12 tribes of Israel came with gifts to please the Lord.

The next great Feast of Dedication of the altar was the completion of the Great Temple as recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:9: And on the eighth day they held a sacred assembly for they observed the dedication of the altar seven days, and feast seven days. In verse 14, the Lord appeared to Solomon saying, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. ** Sadly, just as the people today, the people did not turn from their wicked ways, and the Great Temple was desecrated and destroyed. This was prophesied and recorded in the word of God by the Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah, Chapter 52. It is important to retell past history for the maxim, “Those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it”. The Apostle Paul tells us we are to live and learn from the mistakes of others as recorded in 1 Corinthians 10:11. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of ages have come. ** Upon the promises of our Creator, the children of Israel returned from captivity in Babylon and completed the second temple so our God could send His son, the Messiah Christ Jesus, to preach and teach the new covenant in the temple. God’s mouthpiece and Prophet Ezra recorded this in Ezra 6:15:16: Now the temple was finished on the third day of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. Then the Children of Israel, the priest and the Levites and the rest of the descendants of the captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with Joy.

The returning exiles’ built the altar and celebrated The Feast of Tabernacles (Last harvest) before the foundation of the second temple was laid.  When the foundation was laid all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the House of the Lord was laid (Ezra 3:11).  However, within a century, the people again fell back into the ways of the wicked for many had learned pagan ways during their captivity in Babylon. Our God abandoned the temple and His Prophets fell silent about 400 years after God’s Prophet Malachi recorded the unfaithfulness of the Priest’ and the people. He also documented the coming of the Lord in Malachi 3:1, saying, “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you delight will suddenly come to His temple Behold, He is coming”; says the Lord of hosts.

During this 400 year period, we must rely on history and Rabbinical records to account for the terrible times of suffering because they failed to turn from their wicked ways. The books of Machabees records gruesome details as the pagan king Antiochus brought ruin to the Holy city. Jerusalem was abandoned by God’s people and the Great Temple was again desecrated and robbed of Her vessels of glory. Children not killed were bought by merchants of the pagans as slaves.

Judas Maccabeus with a remnant of survivors prayed for strength from our God in heaven and fear fell upon all the nations round about them. In the year 148 BC, the Great Temple was cleansed and the altar was dedicated anew. They kept the dedication of the altar eight days with joy and praise. Israel decreed the day of dedication of the altar should be kept in its season from year to year with joy and gladness. The celebration of Hanukkah (Dedication) is a celebration for the entire world for the Lord God of Hosts sent His beloved son to cleanse the wickedness from the hearts of man with His blood.

 The Firstborn Son of God began ministry in the Great Temple at age 12; sitting in the midst of the teachers for three days who were astonished at his understanding both listening to them and asking them questions. When His earthly mother and father found him they remarked they had sought Him anxiously. And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

The blood of Christ, God’s smitten lamb, has been shed for sinners. It is the only means of everlasting life for Jew or Gentile. The word of God says, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you……….” (Exodus 12:13)………For it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” *(Leviticus (17-11). ** Only the Son of God who is without blemish (sin) is worthy to atone for your soul and give you everlasting life!  Believe today and keep the commandments written in stone by the hand of God!