And to our many precious Jewish friends, tonight, the night of December 25 marks the beginning of Hanukkah, 2016.
With that in mind, I thought it appropriate to take a little trip, to another time and place — specifically, to Jesus’ final Hanukkah mere months before His crucifixion.
As you will hear in this PODCAST, what is most remarkable to me is that Jesus went “up to Jerusalem” to celebrate this Hanukkah at great risk to His life. Why?
As John observed in John 10, it was winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem for what John calls the Feast of Dedication.
As we break seal on this story, we are now a mere four months from the crucifixion.
When we last left Jesus, He had just healed a man born blind following the Feast of Tabernacles in October. This led to a rather heated confrontation with the religious leaders who kicked the now-healed blind man out of synagogue and denied that this man was ever blind. When that didn’t work, because everyone in Jerusalem knew this formerly blind-beggar, they accused Jesus of healing Him in the power of Satan. The confusion caused by these Pharisees left the crowd reeling. Thus we read, “Many of them said (of Jesus), ‘He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?’ Others said, ‘These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?’”
That’s vs 21. And that happened in October. Next we read in verse 22, “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.”
A full two months transpired between John 10:21 & 22. Indeed, after that heated and life-threatening exchange with the Jewish leaders, Jesus and His men got out of Dodge. Jesus needed to, since once again Pharisees wanted to kill Him.
So here’s my question: Why in the world, then, did Jesus risk returning to Jerusalem here in the Winter? Why did Jesus literally put His life at risk to be there?
The answer is profound.
Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.
God bless you richly as you listen.