“I am the Light of the World: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life!” John 8:12
Over 150 years before Jesus’ birth, a group of Jewish warriors led by Judah Maccabee, defeated Anticochus IV. Though terribly outnumbered by their foes, the Maccabees triumphed over the Grecian Syrian Empire. This led to the establishment of Chanukah — the feast of dedication.
Judah entered into Jerusalem only to find the Temple desecrated by a sacrificed pig and an idol of Zeus. Upon seeing this, he immediately began to cleanse the Temple. Judah also found that there was only one cruse of undefiled oil which could burn in the Temple Menorah (holy candleabra which had to continually burn). This oil was only enough for one day but it miraculously lasted for eight days, just enough time to get more of this special oil made. So in memory of this miracle and the rededication of the Temple, Chanukah (Hanukkah) or the Festival of Lights has been celebrated by the Jewish people for over 2000 years and was even celebrated by Jesus Himself!
Every Chanukah,(Hanukkah) chanukkiahs (the candelabra of nine candle holders) are lit. Each chanukkia has a special candle, known as the Shamash which is raised above the other eight. The word ‘shamash’ means ‘servant, helper, or minister — so the Shamash candle is the servant candle, or the ministering candle, and is used to light all the other candles. It is the servant who is raised up and lights all the others, symbolizing Messiah, for us who believe.
Jesus came and proclaimed that, “I am the Light of the World: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life!”The one who serves the Lord will be a light! The one who does the will of God will shine!
Let’s allow God’s wonderful promises to strengthen and comfort us in each circumstance so that we can run the race — not to finish first being only one winner, as with the Greek olympic games of old. Yet interestingly so the winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!
Let us run together, side by side—— the flame of each of our torches reaching the finish line blazing brightly with fire for Him!
“We have come to Drive Out darkness; in our hands is Light and Fire; Each one of us is a small light—but Together a Strong, Steady Light. Flee darkness into the Blackness! Flee from before the Light!” (Translation from the Hebrew Hanukkah song “Banu Hoshekh Legaresh”).
The miracle celebrated at Hanukkah speaks of: the Light of the World HIMSELF, Jesus, the Christ Child, the Messiah–the reason for Christmas.
“Arise,shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1 Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14
“Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” Jer.29: 12,13