Should Christians celebrate Hanukkah?
Here's the answer:
Hanukkah (or Chanukkah) is the Jewish Feast of Dedication of "Festival of Lights."
Christians can learn the story behind Hanukkah and celebrate God’s miracle behind it. Hanukkah is a Jewish Feast of Dedication that is also called the "Festival of Lights." The Jewish Festival memorializes the Jewish victory in 164 BCE when the Jewish people revolted against the Greeks in the Maccabean War to reclaim the Jewish Temple. After their victory they cleansed the temple and re-dedicated it. An oil lamp in the temple that only had one day of oil miraculously burned for eight days. This is called the Miracle of the Oil and is where the eight days of celebration comes from. Hanukkah, which is Dedication in Hebrew, celebrates the rededication of the Jewish Temple.
Jesus recognized Hanukkah in the Bible (John 10:22-23). Christians can also acknowledge the many wonderful miracles God performs in our lives. The greatest miracle is that God sent His Son to be the Light of the world and offer that Light and eternal life to those who believe.
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness. They will have that light. They will have life" (John 8:12). The Lord Jesus gives all of us, Jew and Gentile, the “light of life.” And He commanded us to "...let your light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will bring glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
Like the Christian holiday of Christmas, Hanukkah has gone through many changes and commercialism over the centuries. Remembering the meaning behind holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah can strengthen our faith and the reasons we love and follow God.
"Jesus spoke to the people again. He said, 'I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness. They will have that light. They will have life'" (John 8:12).