The celebration of Purim and of Hanukkah known as the Jewish Festival of Lights

Earlier this year our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrated Purim…the time when they remember Gods salvation of ancient Israel from the murderous plot set by Hamon while they were exiles in Babylon. During this celebration they read the whole of the book of Esther and even dramatize parts of the story as an activity within the family. Just as they remember Gods plan of Salvation for the captive Jews in Babylon so long ago we in this season of Advent remember Gods plan of Salvation for us which also took place so long ago and enact the Nativity scene when “God became man and dwelt amongst us”
But the story of Esther is more than a story of Gods continual preservation of His special people. It is a beautiful picture of Esther the interceding Bride who dared to risk her own life to intercede for her own people. …a story of self sacrifice and devotion shown by many others of Old Testament fame. Moses who ..”.by faith Moses, when he was grown, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to suffer oppression with God’s people rather than to experience the fleeting enjoyment of sin.” Heb 11 v 25 or Daniel who said…”If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Dan 3 v 18.
This devotion to God is what God longs to see in His people today, Jew and Gentile alike. From the beginning He exhorted us to “Love the Lord your Gid with all of your heart with all of your mind and with all of your strength” Duet 6 v 5 and nothing delights Him more than our devotion to Jesus His beloved Son who is not only our Saviour but our Bridegroom King. We are created for Him and Him alone. That’s why St Paul saw that his highest responsibility towards all believers was to be….”jealous for you with a godly jealousy ( because) I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor 11:2,3
He was simply…preparing the Church as a precious Bride, a pure virgin, for the Lord Jesus Christ who was indeed Her husband, the Bridegroom King. In fact he claims to have promised Jesus that and he looks forward to the time when he is able to present Her to Him. He consequently is jealous over Her for he states quite emphatically that She has one husband.
There is a passion in his words and an intense sense of focus. All pastors and ministers would do well to embrace the same clarity of understanding regarding their mission. However this does not negate our primary responsibility as Jesus Bride to be sure that we are ” making ourselves ready” for Him and for His coming, for this is indeed what we too are called to do.
We see in the story of Esther how meticulous was Esther’s preparation for her wedding day. She and her attendants were so careful to observe all that was required of her.
“Now when the turn of each young lady came to go in to King Ahasuerus, after the end of her twelve months under the regulations for the women– for the days of their beautification were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and the cosmetics for women– the young lady would go in to the king in this way: anything that she desired was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.…” Esther 2 v 12

In the same way the Jews are very careful to remember that at this time of Hanukkah they show appreciation of there spiritual and historical inheritance by remembering the sacrifice of their national heroes, of whom Judas Maccabeus proved to be the most memorable, in their revolt against the Roman armies. This eventually brought about the restoration and re-dedication of their Temple in 164 BC after it had been totally desecrated by the sacrifice of pigs (an unclean animal to the Jews) on the high altar  by Antiochus Epiphanes and the rededication the temple in to the God Zeus in 167 BC.  By these blasphemous acts it seemed to the Jews that their spiritual light had gone out. Jews had to convert or die. It was a time of great darkness.

But after three great victories, Judas Maccabeus and his men cleansed the temple and immediately relit the ner tamid (eternal light)which burned constantly in the Temple. They built a new altar in place of the one that had been defiled, and dedicated it again to the worship of the Lord. It was on the fifteenth day of the ninth month, which was in the early winter and they commanded that a feast of eight days should be kept each year at this season in memory of the dedication. (1 Mac. 4:36-59; 2 Mac. 10:1-9)

However their was not sufficient oil to keep the lamps in the Temple alight for long.They found only a single jar of oil, which was sufficient for only one day. The messenger who was sent to secure additional oil took eight days to complete his mission, but miraculously, the single jar of oil continued to burn until his return. And the eight days of Hanukkah are celebrate to remember the miracle of this single jar of oil.

Is called the Festival of lights and at this time the branch candlestick becomes an eight branch one and a candle is lit each day of the eight.

Another light was possibly lit at the time of Hanukkah. It is most likely that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit during Hanukkah since this timing fits perfectly with the period of Elizabeth’s conception and pregnancy which occurred about six months before Mary’s. If so then the Light of the World had been conceived.

John’s father, Zachariah who served as a priest offering incense in the Temple had had a vision of an angel promising him that his wife would bear him a son and the sign of Zachariah’s  own dumbness would affirm that promise. Presumably he was sent home because of the loss of his speech and so was with Elizabeth at John’s birth and away from his priestly duties. At John’s birth Zechariah prophesied that his son would go before One who would be called “the prophet of the Most High” and who would “prepare the way of the Lord”. This One would “give light to those who sit in darkness”. Luke1 v76 and 79

This person of course was Jesus and Jesus is the Light of the world. Its fitting if He was conceived at the beginning of Hanukkah which is called the Festival of Lights.

“And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1 v 5 – 7

Did you enjoy this article?

Why not help us to spread the word and use the facebook or other social sharing links below. We'd really appreciate it, thanks!


Add Your Comment

Other Posts in 'Esther'

What a Star you are!

23 Jan 2018
Dear shining and glorious Bride, did you know that you are a star! We have been looking at Esther for a few days, and in our Word for today,...

The Greatest Secret in the Bible

22 Jan 2018
Dear beautiful and mysterious Bride of our Lord Jesus. Continuing on with our look at Esther, here is the next principle, and it’s all a big secret! In fact...

Hadassah, the Name Given by God

20 Jan 2018
Dearly beloved Bride, here is your Bridal Word for the day. Continuing on from our look at Esther, yesterday I mentioned that her name was recorded in Scripture. Her...

The Bride is Not Distracted By the Kingdom

19 Jan 2018
Dear Glorious Bride of our Lord Jesus, following on from yesterday Bridal Word for the Day On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in...

The Bride has the Attention of the King

18 Jan 2018
Dearly beloved Bride of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is your Bridal Word for today. There are many examples of the Bride in scripture, and today I wanted to...

More Recent Teaching from Howard

Israel Flag

The One New Man: Studies from the Book of Ruth

1 Nov 2019
The book of Ruth is for many reasons a beautiful book. It’s a story about great loyalty and commitment, of dedication and selflessness and devotion, a compassionate love story...

Israel Flag

The Bride of Christ and the One New Man made up of both Jew and Gentile

17 Oct 2019
Key Scripture: Ephesians 2:11-15 “Therefore, remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh… you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel...

Israel Flag

The Jewish Roots of our Faith (Our Jewish Inheritance.) We have been grafted or joined to Israel

Introduction: Romans 11:13-24 “ 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the...

Israel Flag

Call2Come’s stand on Israel: Our Statement of faith

Gen17:7 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and...

Looking for something? Try the search facility

About the author: Dr Howard Barnes

Howard Barnes was born in England in 1944 to Salvation Army pastor parents. After secondary education he went to university and studied Theology and subsequently become a Secondary School teacher and served in several London schools as the Head of Divinity. During these years he also was a youth leader and then served as a pastor of a local church in Cornwall, England. In 2003 he retired from teaching, after 37 years’ service, to take up a position as director of an evangelistic ministry called Harvest for Christ but in 2008 he became Co-director of Time Out Mission International and more recently director of The Body and the Bride Network Ministry International (UK). These last two ministries which he co-directed with his close friend and ministry colleague, Michael Pike (Apostle), were deeply passionate about two things. 1) to see the worldwide Church discover the meaning of real unity and so fulfill the prayer of Jesus in Jn 17 v 21 and 23 ….“that they may be One even as we are One” and 2) to understand and embrace its end-time identity as the precious Bride of Christ and to prepare her for the coming Bridegroom King. These experiences have paved the way for the creation of this new ministry called The Call2Come which, while still holding to these emphasis, calls the Church to prepare Herself as His precious Bride and so position Herself to cry the prayer that only the Bride can¬ pray. It is only the “Spirit and the Bride” that can cry Come. Howard has received two honorary doctorates in recognition of his mission and reconciliation/peace work in over 70 nations around the world. He is also an official representative for Foundations for Biblical Farming (FFF) which comes out of Zimbabwe, Africa and for the World Prayer Assembly (WPA). He is a regular speaker at international church conferences and operates under an apostolic mantel. He has been married to Tricia for 50 years who was herself a music teacher, and they have two lovely married children and four beautiful grandchildren. He is both a musician and a gifted artist.



Join our Facebook Group and become part of this growing movement around the world. On the group you'll join the Call2Come family and have the opportunity to participate and discuss various topics and teaching. Being part of the Call2Come family on the Facebook group includes

  • Regular updates and teaching
  • Meet others with a passion for the Lord's return
  • Grow in your own Bridal journey towards the Bridegroom
  • Latest news and developments




If you want to receive our newsletter, simply provide your email in the box below. You will then be sent a confirmation email immediately which you need to respond to. Thank you!