22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.John 10:22-23
The Festival of Dedication is another name for Hanukkah. John 10 clearly records Jesus observing it, although he had some things to say about how others were observing it.
I believe God intends Christians to remember our Jewish roots. That’s why we still study the Old Testament.
Hanukkah celebrates the victory of a small courageous band of warriors against religious oppression, and a miracle that occurred when they liberated the temple from the clutches of their oppressors.
In approximately 168 BC, four Jewish brothers led by Judah Maccabee brought together an army of religious freedom fighters. These Jewish men, called the Maccabees, fought with fierce faith and loyalty to God for 3 years with “strength from Heaven” until they achieved a miraculous victory and liberated the temple from pagan control.
In the temple, the eternal flame of God was to remain lit at all times. But there was only enough unadulterated oil to light the flame for one day. It would take a week to process more oil that could be used in the temple for God’s eternal flame. Nevertheless they lit the flame at the rededication of the temple. According to Jewish tradition, “Miraculously, God’s Holy presence caused the flame to burn for eight days until the new sacred oil was ready for use.”
This came to be celebrated every year as the Feast (or Festival) of Dedication which Jesus attended in John 10.
Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight in 2021.