And it was Jerusalem Feast of Dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's Porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, how long dost thou make us doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand…I and my father are one (John 10: 22-30).
Apart from the Lord's appointed feasts which are contained in the Torah as part of the perpetual ordinance for all generations, the celebration of Hanukkah was established as a Feast of Dedication, lights and festival of the miracle of oil.
Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration of Dedication and miracle of oil that begins on the eve of the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev. It is a celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, purity over adulteration and victory of the few over many. It is a feast of Miracles and of recognizing the true and Living God over the foreign gods. From the above quotation, we see that the Lord Jesus Christ celebrated it, just as He celebrated all the Hebrew feasts and festivals as ordained by the LORD.
The history of Hanukkah celebration started when the Lord delivered His people (the Jews) from Hellenistic rule. They were under the ruler ship of the Syrian-Greeks who sought to forcefully assimilate the Jews into everything Geek: their tradition, their religion, their feasts and everything against all odds. They oversaw the Holy Land. Many Jews in Judea had converted to the Hellenistic way and openly advocated adherence to it. However, there were a significant number of faithful Jews who would not assimilate. An ultimatum was given: either the Jewish community must give up its practices of the Lord's appointed feasts, Sabbath, circumcision, Torah reading, or be dead. Their Syrian Greek ruler Antiochus marched his troops into Jerusalem, massacred thousands of Jews and desecrated the holy second Temple of God and its contents: the golden Menorah lampstand, the utensils and the Lord's altar. They also erected an altar for the Greek god Zeus and offered a pig on the holy altar of the LORD. They also erected an image of the Greek god, Zeus as the new point of worship in the Temple! Antiochus insisted on being called "epiphanies" (God manifest). These Greek practices were in direct conflict with the Ten Commandments and Torah (first five books of the Bible).
They brought a godly High Priest named Mattathias to lead the pagan ceremony of offering pigs to the altar, but He would not. With his five sons, they led a rebellion against Anthiochus and his army. They massacred both them and the Hellenistic Jews (the Jews that were converted to these pagan gods.
When Mattathias died, his son Judah rose to leadership and was nicknamed "Maccabee" (the hammer). They were faced with impossible war as these mighty armies outnumbered - and descended on them, but the Maccabees overpowered them and drove them out of Jerusalem and recaptured Jerusalem. This happened in the Hebrew month of Kislev.
Judah and his followers cleansed the Temple, rebuilt the altars and restored the holy furnishings. They needed to restore the light of God in the Temple, to kindle fire on the seven-branch golden menorah lampstand which represented the sevenfold Spirits of God. The fire of the lampstand was meant to burn continually night and day, continually, but they had the unadulterated olive oil (which was not contaminated by the Greek pagan worship) for the burning of the menorah lamps, only enough for a single night. The priests knew it would take at least eight days for new oil to be produced. They decided to burn it anyway, just to bring in light into the Temple of God; but to their amazement, the oil that was supposed to last for only one day lasted for eight days: giving them enough time to bring in more oil for the lamp. God miraculously sustained the one day oil for eight days until new unadulterated oil was produced. This miracle of oil inspired them to the celebration of the eight days of miracle of oil, light, and the Dedication.
Hanukkah means Dedication. It is the feast of re-dedicating the Lord's Temple and of the miracle of oil and light. As the Jews celebrate this feast, they recall the miraculous military victory over the Asian-Greeks and the miracle of oil. In their prayers of thanksgiving, they thank God who delivered the strong in the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few…the wicked into the hands of the righteous (Reference: internet sources).
THE RELEVANCE OF HANUKKAH TO THE BODY OF CHRIST
As indicated above, the Old Testament foreshadows the New Testament. The activities of the Lord's priests in the Tabernacle and the presence of God indicate our priestly relationship with our God through the Lord Jesus Christ. We are the Tabernacle of the Most High. It is therefore, a season of separation and rededication of our lives unto the Lord. It is a time to search our lives for some traces of idolatry, the things that consume our times and our lives more than God; the things that distract our one-focus relationship with God. The Word of God asks us to present ourselves as living sacrifice, Holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12: 1). The Lord Jesus partook of this yearly Dedication of the Temple, the same Temple that was restored and dedicated back to God. On the feast of Dedication, while walking on Solomon's Porch, there the Pharisees confronted Him to know if truly He was the Son of God. He answered by revealing to them that He is God, because He and the Father are One. This feast is the feast that is dedicated to the only One and True God, the Lord Jesus Christ who is the manifestation of God in the flesh and who is the Light of the world, even as they light the candles during these Feast of Dedication.
As it is in Heaven, so it is done on the Earth. We know that the Tabernacle of Moses is built after the pattern of the Heavenly pattern, and the continuous burning of the seven branched Menorah is the consistent manifestation of the seven expressions of the Holy Spirit which burns as unquenchable torch in the Most Holy place of the Heavenly Tabernacle. The Light of the menorah which is lighted all through those eight days one by one until the entire eight candles are lighted signified the continuous burning of the light of God in the Lord's temple. This in turn represents the continuous burning of the Holy Spirit's Light and His seven expressions (wisdom, knowledge, revelation, understanding, fear of God, Counsel and Might (Isaiah 11: 1, 2). As the Temple of the Lord, the light of the Lord in our lives is to burn continually by the Holy Spirit. The word of God says that we are the light of the world, and we are to let our lights shine. We are to let these seven-fold expressions of the Holy Spirit be manifested continually through our lives. As we therefore dedicate ourselves back to God this season of Hanukkah (Dedication), let us allow the purifying fire of the Lord's holiness burn off all impurities in our lives so that the world around us will see the light of God through us as we let the seven expressions of the Holy Spirit be manifested through us to bring the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of the Holy One unto the world, bringing light to those who sit in darkness. Through us they experience the Love of God, and the full expressions of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, don't forget to expect a miracle this season so that the miracle of the menorah oil will become yours as you prepare for the New Year. The ten foolish virgins did not have enough oil in their lamps and so they were not prepared to meet the Bridegroom when He came; their lamps had no extra oil. They could not enter the LORD’S rest because due to insufficient oil in their lamps, they missed His arrival. As you enter the New Year, may you have more than enough supply of the grace of the LORD so that your lamp will continually burn with the expressions of the sevenfold spirit of God. May your lamp burn continually without quenching just as those Seven Spirits of God burn as unquenchable touch in the presence of the LORD. May you enter the New Year with the freshness of His Presence; His Glory tabernacling with you and your loved one’s as a canopy, filling you with His manifested light and miracles. May you be filled with the heart full of thanksgiving and joy. It is a season of light, miracle, purification for new season and new level of glorious and insightful walk with our God, amen. Blessed Hanukkah!