by Barri Cae Mallin


I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.

~ John 8:12 ~

At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus Yeshua was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. (John 10:22-23)

When most people hear of the holiday of Hanukkah, they immediately think of it as a holiday celebrated by Jewish people. Yet as Bible believers, we should all enjoy this celebration as our Messiah Yeshua, Jesus, celebrated it. The Feast of Dedication spoken of in John’s gospel is Hanukkah. Our Scriptures tell us that Yeshua Jesus was there in Jerusalem during this wonderful feast. We are told that it was winter and Jesus was there in the Temple.

As Purim and Passover originally occurred outside the country of Israel, this feast is special as it originally occurred in Israel. The Feast of Dedication commemorates the Jewish victory over the forces of evil. A group of Jewish faithful called the Maccabees defeated one of the mightiest powers on earth. After the battle, it was discovered that the Ner Tamid, the eternal flame in the Temple had been extinguished. Exodus 27:20 tells us that God said You shall charge the sons of Israel, that they bring you clear oil of beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually. The quantity of oil left was barely enough to last one day. A sentry was sent to get replacement oil. The miracle is that the oil that was used for the Temple’s eternal flame lasted for eight days, rather than for one day as expected.*

Today, Hanukkah is celebrated worldwide. Many giant Chanukiya menorahs are lit in different cities to commemorate this wonderful victory. One of the most fun celebrations occurs yearly in Israel. It is the Torch relay run. This relay begins in the town of Modi’in in honor of the Maccabee family who lived in Modi’in. Runners carry a torch into Jerusalem, covering a distance of twenty miles (almost a marathon). The torch relay runs ends at Jerusalem’s Western Wall. The torch relay runner hands the torch to the Chief Rabbi who then lights the first light on the Chanukiya Menorah.

In John 8:12, Jesus said I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life. John also said in chapter 1:9 that There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

As the main candle in the Chanukiya menorah, called the shamash, is used to light the other eight candles, Jesus, Yeshua’s light enlightens our darkness. Matthew records in chapter 5:14-15 that Jesus said,

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the
lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

We are the light of the world; we are the torch bearers of Good news. Daniel 2:22 gives us this wonderful encouragement It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. As we submit our lives to Him, as we surrender our will to Him, He reveals profound and hidden things. He sheds light on our questions, our problems, our challenges and our trials. In turn, as He gives us light, we can encourage others in this world of darkness and hopefully lead them to the True Light, the Messiah, Jesus, Yeshua.

As we enjoy this wonderful season, may we be encouraged by John’s words in I John 2:8: On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)

* "By a miracle, the legend states, the oil lasted for eight days." Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Dr., Messianic Bible Study 122: Channukah (The Feast of Dedication) pdf, p. 6


* * * HAPPY HANUKKAH! * * *

Copyright © Barri Cae Mallin, 2009.


Barri Cae Mallin holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from
Trinity Theological Seminary.
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