Happy Hanukkah!?

 

“Put on your yarmulke, here comes Hanukkah!”  I’ll be honest: Whenever I see the word Hanukkah I immediately hear the voice of Adam Sandler singing that goofy song on Saturday Night Live.  Of course there’s much more to this word (which means dedication) than being a parody skit on a tv show, so let’s get in the Hanukkah spirit and dedicate the next few minutes to exploring some of the Jewish roots of our Christian Faith. 

Looking Backward

In 164 B.C. the Temple was being rebuilt after having been desecrated by the Syrians.  The description that precedes Psalm 30 provides a bit of background info on the context in which David wrote it: “A song for the dedication of the Temple”.   Needless to say, this was a very special occasion, a time when you’d expect a song of profound thanksgiving and praise - and David does not disappoint! 

Looking Christward

Now let’s take a look at how this psalm points to the life, death, & resurrection of Christ.  He is the Messiah, the true Son of David, the “King of the Jews” (and the King of everyone else, too)!  The apostle John makes mention of Jesus “walking in the Temple” during the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22-23)—the Jews were still celebrating this wonderful occasion of the LORD’s deliverance and provision during Jesus’ time on earth!  Now take a moment and ponder this glorious, mind-bending truth: Jesus not only “walked in the Temple”, He was (and is) the ultimate Temple (see John 2:19).  Christ is also the fulfillment of Psalm 30 as the two recurring themes of death/silence and life/praise find their parallels in Christ’s going down into death/three days of silence and His rising up to life again/glorifying the Father.  

Looking Forward

Psalm 30 looks back into the past and invites others to join in the praise of Jehovah in the present, but ultimately it’s a hopeful song that anticipates offering praise and thanksgiving in the future. And David’s not just talking about next Sunday morning or an upcoming Thursday in November while you’re stuffing yourself with some turkey - we’re talking forever here, folks! Every Christian should sing this Psalm in hopeful anticipation of someday joining David in the new heavens and new earth and giving unending thanks and praise to our great Deliverer, Restorer, and Rescuer.