14 Dec No Hanukkah = No Christmas
It was the 4th century BCE and Israel was in trouble. Alexander the Great had conquered the ancient Near East. He imported Greek culture – art, science, literature and religion. He was a pluralist and even though he believed in the superiority of his culture, he allowed the Jewish people to practice their religion.
He died prematurely and his son Antiochus took over. He was a tyrant and he burned Bibles and forced the worship of the Greek gods on the Jewish people. The forces of annihilation were at the door; Antiochus wanted to destroy the Jewish people.
Yet when we look at the lights of Hanukkah, we do not remember a defeated enemy. We remember a fight to preserve our people and to worship the God of Israel freely. Hanukkah is also called the Feast of Dedication. We remember that we are free to dedicate ourselves to God. We are reminded that the God of Israel was dedicated to us even before we could be dedicated to him. Hanukkah is also called the Feast of Lights. Jesus our King said that “I am the light of the world.”
Jesus also said, “I and the Father are one.” He said this on Hanukkah (John 10:22-42). He chose this feast to make a most outrageous assertion: He was purely and truly God just as light is purely and truly without darkness.
Yeshua was nailed to a cross and executed as a malefactor and mocked as a criminal-yet he was the Light of the World.
When you look at the lights of Hanukkah please remember that the Lord preserved His people for the sake of Messiah – for me and for you and for His body of believers. He preserved His people and His word and his land and his lineage for our sake!
In light of this truth, Christmas would be impossible without Hannukah!
Written by Andrew Barron, Director of Jews for Jesus Canada.
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