Last night was our first night of Hanukkah here at the Marion prison camp. It was a great time as we dug deep into the Word and began the process of rededicating our own temples once again during this year’s Festival of Lights. Along the way some cool revelations came that I would like to share through this series of posts.
Part 4: Hanukkah Traditions
We've learned much in the first three parts of this series. We started in Part 1 with the historical account of Hanukkah and discovered the incredible story of how one man, with God's help, stood up to evil, triumphed against all odds, and saved an entire people in the process. In Part 2 we learned how the Messiah kept this festival in the first century and how we could calculate his conception as taking place during it, resulting in His real birth during the Feast of Tabernacles (our September/October). In Part 3 we brought in the connection to Christmas and the antichrist and learned where celebrating it on December 25th came from. In this final part, I would like to share some of my family's traditions with you and discuss how we transitioned into celebrating the Festival of Lights.
Part 3: The Christmas and Antichrist Connection
THE CHRISTMAS CONNECTION
Now that you know the story of Hanukkah, how it was celebrated in the first century by our Messiah, and how we've used it to discover when He was actually born, we can turn our attention to the Christmas part of this story and unveil why we celebrate His birth on December 25th to begin with. Let's continue on our timeline from the first century and you'll see the same problem that Matityahu and Judah Maccabee faced begin all over again.
Part 2: When Was Jesus Actually Born?
In Part 1 of this series we went through the story of Hanukkah and unpacked the incredible heroism that arose from the pits of the Greco-pagan influence that almost wiped out the people of God two hundred years before Christ was born. We showed how this story truly connects to us as believers and why millions of Christians around the world are waking up to why their Lord celebrated this holiday in the first century. We revealed how Matityahu was a shadow of the coming Messiah who liberated the temple of the Holy Spirit and how the light of the Menorah, the symbol of Messiah, is once again finding itself the central focus of Christian homes everywhere.
Okay, I admit, it’s a strange title. How on earth could all three of those topics be connected? Well, as you are about to see, not only are they connected, they’re all related...blood related.
Before we talk about Christmas, let’s talk about a holiday that is far less known to the Christian world but is unparalleled in its relevance to the Christian faith and to the end times, as well: Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a holiday every Christian has heard of but knows very little about, other than that Jewish people celebrate it. Hanukkah is actually a Hebrew word that means “dedication.” The Feast of Dedication was also called the Festival of Lights. Why? Because the entire story revolves around the dedication of the temple and the renewing of the lights that were found on the candelabra itself. Let’s take a minute and go through the story of this amazing holiday so we can see how it relates to believers around the world who are living in these last days.