"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
The Shamash (servant candle) sits higher on the Hanukkah menorah than the other eight candles and is used to light them. What a wonderful representation of Y'shua, the Light of the World, and how He gives us the "light of life," through the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit).
Hanukkah begins tonight!
All over the world tonight, the Jewish People will be lighting their hanukkiahs (Hanukkah menorahs) in remembrance of the miracles that God performed about 2,200 years ago in Jerusalem.
The first miracle was G_D's deliverance.
For many years, the Jewish People had been oppressed by the Greeks, who desecrated the Holy Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar. They enforced idolatry, forbidding the Jewish People from reading the Torah and following it. G_D delivered His people through a Jewish priest named Mattathias and his sons. They led a small group of Jewish men to rise up against the 25,000 soldiers of the Syrian/Greek army.
When the Jewish priests entered the Temple to re-dedicate it and light the Menorah, they found only one bottle of un-defiled oil; enough to last just one day. Miraculously, that tiny supply of oil lasted eight full days. This second miracle gave the priests enough time to create more sanctified oil to keep the Temple Menorah burning 24 hours a day.
This miracle of the Menorah oil lasting for eight days is commemorated during Hanukkah by eating a variety of foods cooked in oil, including delicious sufganiot (donuts).
Over 100 years later, Y'shua stood at the Holy Temple on Hanukkah when He was asked directly, "Are you the Messiah?"
"Then came the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) at Jerusalem. It was winter and Y'shua (Jesus) was in the Temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.
"The Jews gathered around Him, saying, 'How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.'” (John 10:22–24)
On that Hanukkah, Y'shua confirmed to those asking that He is the Messiah, the Shepherd of Israel.Other verses confirm that He is the Light of the World (John 8:12) and also that through Him we can be lights shining in the darkness of these Last Days (Philippians 2:15).
As we light the first candle tonight on the hanukkiah we think of others praying that they too are able to celebrate the miracles of G_D in their lives. Let us rejoice together in the miracles of Hanukkah and the miracles that G_D is doing today in our lives.
May your holiday season be illuminated with the Light of the World—Y'shua haMashiach (Jesus my Lord).