Most non-Jews have heard the word “Hanukkah,” but few really understand the significance of that celebration. In fact, for many in America, the Hanukkah celebration has been commercialized and diluted in an effort to help the holiday fit in to the culture, to normalize it, to have it assimilated. Assimilate, the very thing the Maccabees fought against.
If you haven’t already read the story of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil, do read it. This event sets the stage for an even bigger miracle ... one they could not possibly have known.
Unlike “Christmas,” Hanukkah really is biblical. In John 10:22-23 we see Yahoshua (Jesus) in Solomon’s Temple for the Feast of Dedication.
At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Yahoshua was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
The “Feast of Dedication” is Hanukkah. What the Maccabees did in 165 BC (before Christ) was to clean and re-dedicate the Temple for worship, paving the way for the future dedication of our Savior.
Again, Luke tells us in Chapter 2 about the naming and dedication of Yeshua HaMashiach ...
21 And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Yahoshua (Salvation of Yah), the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
According to Levitical Law, babies were not named upon birth, but at their circumcision.
22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Again, according to Levitical Law, 40-50 or more days after the birth of a child, the mother was required to go to through a purification ceremony. The events listed in verses 21 and 22-24 are two separate events. Yahoshua was most likely born during the Feast of Tabernacles in late September/early October with the purification ceremony occurring in late November/early December ... perhaps within the season of Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication. Wondrous, yes?
The patterns and principles Yahweh set up in the Torah give the statement “there are no coincidences” a whole new meaning.
So what does all this have to do with us today? As a Believer in Yahoshua, our bodies are the Temple of the Ruach Hako'desh; meaning, the Holy Spirit of Yahweh resides within us.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ... Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Shouldn’t we be using this time to cleanse and re-dedicate our earthly temples to the One who paid such a high price for our eternal salvation? When will we lay down those things of the world - stop assimilating - in order to make room for more of what is of Yahweh, heavenly, and eternal?
King Solomon has wise words for us in the book of Ecclesiastes. In his opening statement he says that all endeavors are 1:2 “Vanity of vanities” ... a forceful Hebrew statement meaning “all is utter emptiness.” Indeed it is.
He ends in Chapter 12:13-14 with ...
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
It really is ALL about Him! Our temporal walk is about Him, glorifying Him, loving Him by keeping His commandments. And just as the Torah teaches that no one could approach the Altar of God in a defiled state, we, in whom the Holy Spirit of Yahweh resides, should strive to keep our Holy Temples (our bodies) clean and holy.
What will you do - today - to re-dedicate yourself to the One True and Holy God, Yahweh?