Hanukkah: Bringing More Light into the World
- Monday, November 26, 2007
It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.
I remember clearly wondering what the “Feast of Dedication” was, exactly. I looked in the “cheat notes” at the bottom of the page and saw these words: That is, Hanukkah.
I was struck with a sudden revelation: Jesus was a Jewish man and as a Jewish man, he celebrated the Jewish feasts and festivals. It was important to him, so much so that he took himself to near the very place where the Hanukkah miracle had occurred.
Solomon’s Colonnade was an open, roofed 45-foot walkway with double columns that were 38 feet tall. It was situated along the east side of the Court of Gentiles (Westerholm 1988:772). Although it was part of the temple complex, it was not considered to be part of the actual temple (Brown 1966:402), as evidenced by the fact that Gentiles were not allowed into the temple but they could be present in Solomon's Colonnade. This “portico” was a type of gateway or entrance to the inner court.
In Jesus' time there was an extra illumination of the Temple during the celebration of Hanukkah, the annual commemoration of the Dedication of the Altar' and of the Sanctuary’; in 165 B.C. (some scholars give 164 B.C.). (I Maccabees 4:36-59; Alfred Edersheim. The Temple. Its Ministry and Services at the Time of Christ, p. 334)
The Levitical musicians provided instrumental background to the Levitical choirs who chanted the Hallel - Psalms 113 to Psalms 118. Some scholars say that Psalms 30 was included since it was A Song of the Dedication of the Temple.
The worshippers responded to the choirs, and waved palm branches, as they had celebrated The Feast of Tabernacles' two months earlier. (II Maccabees 10:6-8) 
What Does This Mean for Christians Today?
It is not uncommon to find Christians—whether Messianic Jew or Gentile Christian—celebrating Hanukkah. For Gentile Christians, it serves as a reminder that our God is a god of miracles—past, present, and future.
It is also a reminder of Jesus’ words recorded in John 8: 12: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Psalm 119:105 states: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
In the opening of his gospel, John wrote: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Within these three sections of Scripture, we find a common theme: Light, Life, and the Word.
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