“Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade” (John 10:22-23 NIV).
The Feast of Dedication is another term for Chanukah. Because Hebrew is a pictorial language, it can have several different phonetic spellings for the same word in English. Hence, sometimes we see the Feast of Dedication referred to as H-A-N-U-K-K-A-H and sometimes C-H-A-N-U-K-A-H.” (I will mainly use the “Ch” spelling.)
When anyone asks why a Christian would celebrate Chanukah, the simplest and most direct answer is that Jesus did. “Jesus gave them this answer: ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; he can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does’” (John 5:19). So when Jesus celebrated Chanukah on earth, significantly, His Heavenly Father participated also. Stop and really think about that. Our precious Heavenly Father not only approved of Chanukah, but joined in the festivities. In fact, the days of Chanukah were designated as festivals of praise and thanksgiving, because the Jewish people recognized the annual return of the same kind of spiritual force that resulted in the original miracle – one day’s oil miraculously lasting for eight until the Temple was cleansed, and new pure and undefiled oil could be made for the Golden Lampstand (i.e., the Temple Menorah). The light of the Menorah in God’s Temple is symbolic of the light of God. The fact that the lights burned even when there was no supply left speaks of the All-Sufficient One – El Shaddai.
Christians have been quick to write off the feasts articulated in the Bible as Jewish Feasts. Yes, legions of faithful Jews have kept these feasts, because they have lived their lives trying to abide by the commandments given to them in the Word of God. As Christians, we have been told that we no longer have to keep the letter of the Law, which is true in the context that the letter of the Law kills. But… God’s commandments also show us the way of life: 1 John 2:3-6 says:
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in Him. But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”
The Church has overlooked some important details when it comes to being holy as He is holy. The Bride of Christ, as exemplified by the 144,000 “firstfruits” who “kept themselves pure” and “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Rev. 14:4), are those “saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus” (Rev. 14:12). In that place of grace, we walk as Jesus walked. He walked “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
There are four Essential Commandments for ALL Believers listed in Acts 15:20, Acts 15:29, and Acts 21:25 that basically prohibit things that had or have connections with pagan customs and/or traditions. These essentials are abstinence requirements for God’s people so that they can live a holy life, just as abstinence before marriage preserves the sanctity of holy matrimony.For example, the first essential commandment’s most accurate translation tells us to abstain from things sacrificed to or contaminated by idols. As SANTA-TIZING: What wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up articulates in chapter 4: “…almost every single Christmas custom or tradition is a thing saturated with paganism (i.e., contaminated by idols).” The abstinence requirements for the Bride of Christ preserve the sanctity of holy matrimony to our Bridegroom.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go into the city. Outside are . . . the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Rev. 22:14-15).
The holiness requirements for the Lord’s living stones (i.e., you and me) are so important that they were mentioned twice when the founding church fathers were discussing what the nations needed to do to become part of God’s household. Then, incredibly, Paul repeats them again in Acts 21:25 when he arrives in Jerusalem after his third missionary journey. These were Paul’s last days. He topped off his final missionary efforts (gathering funds for the church in Jerusalem) with a final exhortation to the people in the nations to keep the Essential Commandments for All Believers.
If Christians truly want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection, we must walk as Jesus did. He literally walked in the temple area called Solomon’s Colonnade during the Feast of Dedication. This was, and still is, Jesus’ Winter One-der-land . Won’t you do as He did? Won’t you walk with Him too?
Please refer to “Winter One-der-land” article http://wp.me/p158HG-aH .
Copyright Dec. 15, 2012 – Author: Robin Main.
Some references can be found in my book: SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up (available on amazon http://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353692179&sr=1-1&keywords=SANTA_TIZING).