Yes, it’s no coincidence that both Chanukah and Christmas are all about lights. The Son of God, came into the world and filled the darkness with His light.
The Festival of Light or Feast of Dedication, as it’s also known is full of pictures of the messiah. In fact He was at the Feast of Dedication, when He spoke these words. Once again, to all the religious teachers, were too blinded to really understand His message to them.
When Christ was born, He entered into the world and He was laid in a manger. He was wrapped in swaddling cloths,(a white linen cloth) for warmth. A beautiful picture, but only the spiritual eyes could see the full meaning. Not only a picture of His birth, but it would be a picture of His death ,the white linen grave cloths. Also, remember, this from my earlier post, is what the Lord tells us we must purchase from Him, to cover ourselves at His coming, “to cover our shameful nakedness.” (Rev.Church of Laodicea)This cannot be purchased by ‘covering ourselves,’ as the world would do, but by allowing Him to cover us with His righteousness through the acceptance that we are sinners.
The wisest men of the day, the ones who also studied the lights in the sky, knew where He was to be born. And there He was, just a babe, however, the picture is incredible, is it not? We have been so inundated with Hollywood fantasy, we fail to grasp the sheer magnitude of what really took place that day. God, stepping into the body of flesh and being born into a sinful, corrupt world. What a picture already beginning with his parents having to be alienated because of a death sentence against all male children, and to find no place to stay but a barn. Yet, God the Father, with the plan in place, provided for their needs, and He also foreknew that this would be the picture for us all. No, Christ was no lying in a cute little basket, but a manger, where the animals ate their food. He shared a bed with the creatures of the earth. He became a servant to us all. How can we be anything more than He was? But yet it is that pride in us that He tried to combat on this earth. The very first sin. He tried to show His disciples “that unless they would allow Him to wash their feet,” they had no business following Him. Always giving lessons and like us all, the disciples were always needing to be reminded. Every time I see Jesus saying to Peter, “Are you still so dull? I have to think He’s speaking to me.
Now when the miracle of Chanukah took place, it was a small band of men, God used, once again. He likes those kinds of odds. This miracle was a very significant picture, because just as the Passover with the disciples pointed to the past Exodus from Egypt, and future resurrection of Christ, Chanukah, pointed to the past, Jesus as a baby, Him speaking of the Dedication of the Temple and the future, the Holy Spirit filling our temples.
The oil in the lamps was made of olives and the olives needed to be pressed very hard to get just a small amount of oil. It would have been impossible for the Macabees to get this oil in time. The oil in scripture is also referred to as The Holy Spirit and it is not until we are “hard-pressed,” that this anointing is really released. Most of us must suffer to begin to walk in faith. To understand what it is to be totally reliant on God.
The cruz of oil was then filled with enough for one day. The Lord reminded us to pray this way as well. “Give us this day, our daily bread.” Just as enough manna, (bread was also a picture of Christ) was only given for one day to the Israelites, as they wandered the desert. This is how they were being taught His ways and learned to follow Him and to trust Him for their provision.
Next a “swaddling” was placed into the cruz of oil to allow it to burn. Here is where we see the ultimate picture of Christ. He was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” The wise men, knew that this was a word picture and the fulfillment of prophesy. Through this little baby, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. “Here He was wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And now you had all of the heavenly hosts proclaiming “Glory to God in the highest, Peace, Good will to All Men!
Now when we celebrate chanukah we can see that the center candle, the Shamash, is the Servant, or Helper candle. It lights all the rest. Just the same way, that we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we ask Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. He comes to us and places His light within us. But the real picture is that now we can dedicate the temple to the Lord. “Know ye not that you were bought for a price and you are not your own? Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” We dedicate ourselves after we have received His free offer of salvation. It is only after receiving the power of the Holy Spirit that we can overcome the natural desires to sin. He gives us the power and there is no other way. We cannot earn it or work it out on our own. We can only acknowledge that we can’t do it without Him. To understand that He didn’t die for us because we are so good, but because we can’t be good enough. But He can and He loves us all so much. This is why He stepped down from eternal glory to suffer on our behalf.
On that day the angels in heaven rejoiced, “Immanuel!God With US!” What a scene that must have been!
To only know that this innocent baby would suffer so much because of my sins makes me weep, yet He willingly did this for me and for you.
Jesus Is the Reason for the Season!
May you have a blessed Chanukah and Christmas!!!