The Story – Jesus as the Word
Each night, we are reminded that Jesus is the Word of God as we read from the Word of God as we light our candles. Once again, come with me, and again imagine standing in Jerusalem, near the Temple in Solomon’s Portico with Jesus. This beautiful portico runs along the Eastern side of Herod’s temple, and it is beautiful decorated. This place will later be the location where Peter preaches his sermon and thousands will dedicate their lives to Jesus the Messiah.
But for now, far away from the busy pandemonium of the city streets, this place is quiet and snow falls lightly. Just a handful of people enter the gate into the Temple, hardly making a noise in the silence of the snow. Wind blows and the clouds hang low over the sky. Jesus is pacing quietly by himself, thinking and praying to himself in this quiet oasis in the middle of the Great City. Today is Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication.
All of a sudden, a huge group of religious leaders ambush Jesus and crowd around him, preventing his escape. “Why do you keep us in suspense?” they cry. “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly!”
Jesus takes a deep breath. “I told you, and you did not believe.”
“I told you, I am the Son of God, I told you, I am the fulfillment of the scriptures. I told you, I came from Heaven. I told you, I am your Savior from sin.”
Jesus had already told them, but they did not believe. “I and the Father are One.” Jesus boldly claimed. “Do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
As Jesus spoke, every Jewish man cried out in horror and immediately tried to drag him away to stone him because he had claimed to be deity! But they could not touch him.
THE THEME: JESUS AS THE WORD
“In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus was the creator of our world, and the creator of all that is good.
Jesus made the claim to be deity, because he was God! Though Antiochus had falsely claimed godhood, Jesus proved he was the one and only true God.
The significance of Jesus’ response to the Pharisees in the Temple cannot be passed by, because it is so key to understanding the holiday of Hanukkah. Jesus said he was the one whom the Father had consecrated and sent into the world. Jesus had been sanctified and dedicated by his Father in heaven to come to earth!
Jesus was not only claiming to be deity, but a deity that had been sent into the world to save it. Jesus was claiming the feast of Hanukkah pointed directly to HIM! Jesus was the ultimate dedicated and consecrated priest who would intercede on behalf of his people for miracles, even when his own people would not stay dedicated to him.
Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication as he was reminded of his own dedication to his Father in Heaven. The conviction he carried took him all the way to the cross as he died on behalf of all humanity for their sins.
What an incredible picture of Jesus’ love for us in the celebration of Hanukkah, and what an incredible God we serve!