Shalom dear friends!
Last night the whole house of Israel lit the first candle of Hanukkah, also knows as the Festival of Dedication and the Festival of Lights, which was a feast Yeshua Himself celebrated. John 10:22-27 “Then came the Festival of Dedication (in Hebrew: Hanukkah) at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” It’s not a coincidence that Hanukkah is celebrated so close to Christmas. In fact Hanukkah came to prepare us for Christmas (the birth of our Messiah). It is called a Festival of Lights or Festival of Dedication for a reason, because Yeshua came to be our light, to cleanse us and dedicate us to our Heavenly Father. It celebrates the miracle of an oil that was meant to last only one day, lasted 8 days, which was as long as it took for the Temple to be rededicated to God. The nation of Israel cleansed and rededicated the Temple during Hanukkah, preparing it for the coming of their Messiah! The same way now we celebrate Hannukah right before Christmas, as a prophetic symbol of us rededicating ourselves to welcome Yeshua’s coming.
Hanukkah as a Festival of Lights is just as relevant for us today as followers of Yeshua, because He told us that we are to be a Light to the World, and we are His temples, so we need to cleanse and rededicate ourselves to Him, so we can be His light to the world. Which is why Hanukkah is such a prophetic and important preparation for Christmas that we celebrate as a symbol of Yeshua’s coming into this world as our Savior. That is what we want to allow others, who have never experienced true Christmas, to experience. Sadly enough, in Israel, the land where our Savior was born, the land that had the very first Christmas in history, these days go by unnoticed. Life continues as always, without any acknowledgement of what had happened over 2000 years ago: Yeshua choosing precisely this land to come into this world and bring salvation to all. We want to reignite this knowledge and remind people why this season in the year is so important, beautiful and worthy of celebration. The meaning of true Christmas is too profound to just ignore it, or not share it with the very nation that experienced the very first Christmas in history just a few miles away from where we’re writing these lines, in Bethlehem. We want to bless families, and especially small children by brining them to Yeshua and showing them His heart behind the real significance of Christmas.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Pastor Israel Pochtar