Sunday, December 17th, 2017: "Jesus and His Hanukkah Homily" • Pastor David R. Stokes
The very word “CHRISTMAS” contains a clear reminder that Jesus was—and is—the fulfillment of all the prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures (what we call the “Old Testament”) regarding the MESSIAH. The Messiah was to be the anointed one—the Christ—the one pictured and promised in prophecy and observance. All the great Jewish feasts/festivals have a messianic application—for example, Christ is our Passover (I Corinthians 5:7).
Our Jewish friends and neighbors are observing Hanukkah right now. While Hanukkah is not one of the “official” observances mandated in scripture—because the event it remembers happened after the Old Testament was written—it is a vital story.
And Jesus himself observed Hanukkah. In fact, he preached a great sermon during Hanukkah about three months before he was crucified. In a sense, he actually fulfilled the meaning and message of Hanukkah.
Oil (olive) was used for many purposes in the scripture—for cooking, heating, healing, and anointing. Remember what I said—the messiah is the “anointed” one. Also, though we don’t know for sure when Jesus was born—the most common theories are that he was either conceived or born around Hanukkah.
So maybe instead of singing about “The 12 Days of Christmas,” we should declare “The 8 Days of the Messiah and the Menorah.”
Why did some become so angry at Hanukkah when Jesus confirmed to them that He was God?
What other Jewish observances have an application to Jesus?
- How is olive oil associated with Jesus?