Hanukkah or Chanukah - The Festival of Lights

Why Christians should celebrate Hanukkah

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Mary and Gabriel
Why Christians should celebrate Hanukkah

Picture courtesy of lavistachurchofchrist.org

Yesterday we looked at the story of Hanukkah and today I want to look at why Christians should celebrate this holiday.

First and foremost as I have previously stated as we read yesterday in our Gospel reading, Jesus attended the festival of Dedication in the Temple (Hanukkah translated into English is “dedication”.) In doing so he places his blessing on the festival, this festival is all about hope and light and Jesus is the: true “light of the world” and our hope. In fact it was during the festival of Hanukkah that Jesus announced that he was “the light of the world”.

The other reason that we should celebrate Hanukkah is because Jesus was not born on the 25 December rather it is when he was conceived. The light of the world’s conception occurred during the festival of Lights.

Most biblical scholars will tell you that the date of his birth is not noted anywhere in the Bible or the Gospels and they are wrong. The date of John the Baptist conception is clearly able to be worked out by Jewish scholars; Archangel Gabriel appears and foretells John's birth to Zechariah (John’s father) as he was ministering in the Temple, during the Aaronic Ministration of the priestly family of A-bi'jah (A-bi'a). This order of priests routinely ministered in the Temple in the eighth familial course, during the ninth week of the Hebrew year, according to Hebrew records and scriptural law, (1 Chronicles 24:10).

John the Baptist was conceived within days of Zechariah's return home, he had ministered in the Temple at Pentecost (Shavuot). Six months later Luke records that Gabriel appeared to Mary and tells her that she will bear the Messiah and that Elizabeth her cousin; ‘she who is barren’ is 6 months pregnant, 6 months after Pentecost is Hanukkah the festival of Lights. The “light of the world” was conceived during the Festival of Lights”.

The flow on means that John was born at Passover (when Elijah is prophesied to return) and Jesus was born at Tishri during Sukk'ot (Feast of Tabernacles). This was the safest time to travel on the roads during fair weather, the roads were full of Pilgrims heading to Jerusalem which also explains why there was “no room at the Inn”….