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The Feast of Dedication

Gabriel Perez

Posted on December 1, 2018 17:00

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The story of Hanukkah and a surprising revelation.

Once upon a time the ruling class clashed heavily with the religious leaders of their day. A 'war', so to speak, was being waged in those days as religious themes, religious symbols, and yes, even religious ideas were scorned and even removed from public venues.

To show your allegiance to God was to be mocked. To walk into religious houses of worship was frowned on, and to speak one's mind about religion was to invite a verbal battle that would sometimes even become physical.

If the sounds like America today, well, you may not be too far from the truth, but the time period we're talking about here is the second century and the place was the Holy Land. The Syrian-Greeks were the ones in charge at the time, and they tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of the Jewish Bible.

At the time, things escalated to the point where the Syrian King, whose name was Antiochus, invaded the Jewish nation and demanded the people to abandon the God of Israel. It went so far that Antiochus defiled the Temple in Jerusalem. He made sure idols were placed in the house of the Lord and sacrificed a sow on the altar. This latter move was especially devastating because of the strict ordinances found in the bible concerning swine.

Antiochus then made one final decree. Everyone would now worship him. Needless to say, not everyone was on board with these forced changes which brings us to the Maccabees. The name Maccabee translates to 'hammer,' and they lived up to their name as they refused to 'do as they were told,' and they stood up to the most powerful army of the day.

Miraculously, their 'rebellion' won. They drove the Greeks from the Holy Land and took back the Temple. Once they had control, they only had one problem. That sow that had desecrated the Temple. The question became, 'how do you make something defiled Holy again?'

Turns out the answer was the same as the spirit of the 'rebellion.' It was all about re-dedication. The same way the Maccabees refused to bow their knee to a self-declared god named Antiochus, and take back what was dangerously close to being lost, was the same way they approached the Temple. Bowing their hearts to God, they used the only uncontaminated oil they could find to light the Temple Menorah.

The oil was only enough to light it for one day. The proper amount of time to purify the Temple was eight days. This was also a problem, but the religious leaders decided to light it anyway. Amazingly, day after day, for eight days, the Temple Menorah stayed lit. It was a miracle from God that is celebrated by many...even by some Christians...

'Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple, in Solomon’s porch.” John 10:22-3

Happy Hanukkah Everyone!

Gabriel Perez

Posted on December 1, 2018 17:00

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