What is Hanukkah?

Are you not sure what Hanukkah is all about? Check out this link for a quick summary.

The Light Shines Brighter Still by Elwood McQuaid

For those curious about the legend of the oil, the story goes something like this: "By 165 BCE the Jewish revolt against the Seleucid monarchy was successful. The Temple was liberated and rededicated. The festival of Hanukkah was instituted to celebrate this event. Judah ordered the Temple to be cleansed, a new altar to be built in place of the polluted one and new holy vessels to be made. According to the Talmud, olive oil was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. The story goes that there was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight-day festival was declared by the Jewish sages to commemorate this miracle." (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah)

I rejoice with my Jewish friends at this momentous event. Many Christians believe that the Maccabees' triumph set the stage necessary for the Christ to come and to die in Jerusalem with Jewish religious leaders playing a major role. Did they kill Jesus? Absolutely not. One of their prophets, Isaiah, declared that it was God who put Him to death.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:4-6

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
Isaiah 53:10a

Why would God do that?
As you see above, for our transgressions and iniquities (sins); to bring about our healing.

And His resurrection is prophesied there as well.

When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:10b-12

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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