Today is day 7 of Hanukkah. We will light 7 candles.
Tonight, we light the seventh Hanukkah candle. With each night, the light grows brighter. It reminds us that light dispels darkness. We live in a dark world. Open a newspaper, a news feed on the computer, or the evening news, and you will notice that the lead story is usually about death, wickedness, or some kind of sin. The light that Jesus gives allows men and women, boys and girls to live above what the world has to offer.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of the future glory of a restored Israel in
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord
has risen upon you… And nations will come to your light, and kings to
the brightness of your rising.
God is not done with Israel. If you have any doubt, please read the books of Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Revelation. Israel will be restored to Her rightful place as God’s chosen nation and people. Today’s Scripture states that nations and kings will come to light of Israel and ultimately to the Messiah, Yeshua, the Lord Jesus Christ. What a glorious day that will be.
The message of salvation is woven through the whole Hanukkah celebration. I would be remiss in not sharing that message with you.
God created a perfect world, no sin. In Genesis 3, man chose to disobey God’s clear command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The first sin. From that time to this God sees us as sinners. In the Old Testament, God directed a blood sacrifice for the covering of sin. We see this demonstrated in Egypt, just before the Exodus and the Priests sacrificing animals daily for the sins of the people.
God had a better plan. “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5) How was this to be done? Jesus tells us in Mark 1:14-15, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” What is the gospel? “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-6)
So to summarize.
1) We are lost and need a Savior. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
2) God sent Jesus to redeem us. (See Galatians 4:4-5 above)
3) We must repent of our sins. Repent means turning in the opposite direction. Renounce all your wickedness before Jesus. (See Mark 1:14-15)
4) We must believe the gospel. That Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day. (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-6)
5) Last we must a make a decision to accept or reject God’s free gift of salvation. Romans 10:8-11, makes this very clear. “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
Jesus came to earth as a baby, grew to manhood, preach God’s message of salvation, and then went to the cross for US! Jesus would love for you to trust Him as Lord and Savior this Christmas. If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, tell someone about this good news.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001