Seven Reasons Why Shalom Celebrates Hanukkah
1. Hanukkah is a festival commemorating the fight against Hellenization. It reminds us that as people of God, we too should be fighting against Hellenization in its modern form, which is secular humanism and replacement theology.
2. Hanukkah is a festival that also commemorates the fight against assimilation. As Christians, Romans 12:2 [ESV] tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
3. Hanukkah is a story of standing up for God in the face of religious persecution. Jesus warned us that in the end times there would be persecution. Matthew 24 [NIV], beginning in verse 9: “ Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
4. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Light. Hanukkah reminds us that we are at war with the powers of darkness. Ephesians 5:8 [ESV] says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Jesus is the Light of the world. Because He lives in us, we too are the light of the world. The devil would like to see our light snuffed out. Yet on each night of Hanukkah, the light of the Hanukkah menorah grows brighter and brighter.
5. Hanukkah is a prophetic festival. When we celebrate Hanukkah, we are not just celebrating a victory that happened at the time of the Maccabees but one that will be replayed, as it were, in the time of the Antichrist.
6. Jesus and His disciples observed Hanukkah. We know that Jesus went to Jerusalem for Hanukkah,* and we know that He referred to Hanukkah in his teaching when he spoke of the abomination of desolation. His disciples had to have known the Hanukkah story in order to understand what He was telling them.
7. Most importantly, Hanukkah commemorates the dedication of God’s Temple. Hanukkah means “dedication.” It is a remembrance of when the Jews rededicated God’s Holy Temple. The Bible tells us that today we are God’s Temple. Which brings us to how we as Christians should celebrate Hanukkah. Hanukkah menorahs are good, and potato pancakes are good, and I’m all for eating latkes and lighting hanukkiot in remembrance of the mighty miracles that God has done for us. But there is something even more important that we, as Hebraic Christians, should do on Hanukkah. Hebraic Christians/Messianic Christians/all Christians would do well to celebrate Hanukkah because it reminds us that our own temples should be dedicated to God. We need to examine ourselves and see if we, too, need a miracle to multiply our oil.
Internet Pastor Margot Armer
* "At that time the Feast of Dedication [Hanukkah] took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon" (John 10:22-23 ESV).