Hanukkah (Part 1)

“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:27-30 NRSV).

Eyeglasses help us see clearly when our eyesight is otherwise distorted. Scratches, smears and dirt on our lenses work against us. Clarity is essential to navigate our path, escape dangers and avoid obstacles.

It is the same way when we study Scripture. The lens of prophecy offers the gift of vision of the future. Observing “The 5 Basic Rules of Biblical Interpretation” (See our “Book Excerpts” section, Rules of Interpretation) is key to properly comprehending God’s Word.

Take Hanukkah for example. Today is the 5th day of the “Feast of Lights” which celebrates the Dedication of the Temple of God. Contrary to what many may believe, there are references to this feast in the Old and the New Testament. Note the reference from the New Testament’s Gospel of John: It was on the Festival of the Dedication that Jesus was in the portico of Solomon. There, in this area of the temple, he was asked if He was the Messiah (John 10:22-23).

Our Lord’s answer pierced his adversaries. ” I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me, but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.” (John 10:25-26 NRSV).

Our King went on to declare that those who belong to him will hear his voice and will not perish (10:27-30). Because Jesus and the Father are One, the faithful cannot be snatched out of His hand. The Greek word that John’s Gospel employed is harpazo” (“to snatch”, “pluck”, “catch away”). It is identical to the word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 with regards to the rapture of the saints. (“Rapture” is taken from the Latin for “catching up” or “taking away in an upward direction”.)

Something amazing and prophetically significant is revealed, if we make the connection between the Feast Day and Jesus’ claim of authority. On Hanukkah, Our Lord not only affirms his oneness with the Father but alludes to his future coming. This is evidence the Festival plays a big role in the last days as well as in the age to come.

Hanukkah’s history will be explored in the next post, Part 2. EJ.

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