Someone who could touch both man and God is the only possible bridge for the gap between humanity and our Creator that was created by sin. Yeshua claims that He is that bridge: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (John 1:51). In order for this to be true, Yeshua has to be both fully human, and fully divine. It is no coincidence that He confirms the latter on Hanukkah.
The Feast of Dedication is first mentioned in John 10:22. In fact, this is the only place in Scripture where the holiday of Hanukkah is mentioned. In this passage, Jesus goes to the Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the festival, which remembers the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks and the rededication of the Temple. The word Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew verb hanakh, which means to dedicate.
Jewish people gathered around Jesus as He walked in the Temple court and asked Him plainly whether He was the promised Messiah. At that time, they were waiting in hopeful, anxious anticipation for the fulfillment of Messianic prophecies. They desperately wanted to know if Jesus was the one for whom they were waiting. After some discussion with the onlookers, Jesus acknowledged His deity by saying, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
As written in Ezekiel 9-11, the Divine Presence had not been seen in the Temple since the glory of the Lord departed. In Solomon’s temple, the glory of God was present and hovered over the mercy seat. Ezekiel 9-11 describes the glory of God—which can be interpreted as the Holy Spirit—leaving the Temple because of Israel’s disobedience. With Jesus’ presence in the Temple, the Holy Spirit had indeed returned.
Hebrews 1:3 describes Jesus as the “radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” There is tremendous significance that on the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), Jesus announces His deity and returns the Spirit to the Temple. Through Messiah, we, who are now His temple, are made clean and filled with His Holy Spirit. This is the meaning of Hanukkah and it is truly something to be celebrated.
This Hanukkah, I pray that you are filled with the light of the Lord’s presence, and experience the freedom that comes with repentance, sanctification, forgiveness, and restoration. May you experience joy, peace and freedom this Hanukkah season!