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How Come Christians Celebrate Christmas and Easter Instead of Hannukah and Passover?
Yahshua, or better known as Jesus, celebrated Hanukkah, not just because He was a Jew but because it was the annual celebration of the re-dedication of the altar and God's Holy Temple that had been desecrated many years earlier by King Antiochus IV.
Antiochus Becomes New King Over Judea
Prior to Antiochus gaining control of Judea, Alexander the Great had died suddenly, leaving his kingdom to be divided among his four generals. Judea got caught in the middle of their power struggle and so eventually ended up under the rule of the Syrian tyrant and Greek King, Antiochus IV.
Antiochus decided to go into Jerusalem and take the treasures in the Jewish temple, and also forbid the Jews from keeping their holy traditions or studying their holy scriptures. In order to show his disdain for their god and holy altar, he desecrated the altar by sacrificing a pig on it - an animal considered unclean by the Jews.
The temple was then dedicated to the worship of the Greek god, Zeus. Zeus was considered 'King of the Gods'. Antiochus had a statue of Zeus erected in the temple upon the place where the Jewish Holy altar stood. The Jews were then forced to bow before it under the penalty of death. Antiochus' goal was to abolish every trace of the Jewish religion.
Since Alexander the Great's goal prior to his death was to conquer and create one unified kingdom, many Jews succumbed to the temptation and pressure of the Greeks 'modern' ways.
This created opportunity for some Jews to unite with the Greek rulers and bribe their way into positions of power. One such Jew, who had taken the Greek name Jason, offered Antiochus a bribe so that he could take over the position of High Priest, the ruler of the Jews. Later, another Jew came along and offered an even bigger bribe, and replaced Jason.
This caused Jason to create an army to attack the Holy City of Jerusalem which led to the kiling of many Jews. This then caused Antiochus to fear his throne and to plunder all the cities in his territory, slaughtering tens of thousands of Jews, erecting statues of Zeus and forcing Jews to make offerings, eat forbidden foods, and engage in all sorts of immoral acts or be killed.
A small group of Jews, under the leadership of Judas Maccabee, employed warfare and drove the Syrians out of Judea. The 'Maccabees' remained in control of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem and began the task of purifying it by tearing down the altar and rebuilding it. All new holy vessels were created and a date for rededication was set for the Hebrew month of Kislev, which occurs during the same month of the Roman month of December.
Oil to light and keep the Menorah burning, the lamp of the Holy Temple, wasn't available. There was only one day's worth of oil that miraculously lasted eight days, until more oil had been aquired. This became one of the miracles of Hanukkah.
As you can begin to see, the Roman months and Greek practices have superceded the Jewish calendar, Holy days, and practices of Holy worship. Over time, these practices spread throughout the world, leaving today's Christians with pagan holidays and celebrations that have been merely 'Christianized' later by adding Jesus' story into them.
However, these were the very things that the Maccabees revolted against - the attempt at abolishing all things of the true God. This is where we are today. Nearly all of the truth about the Jewish, but now considered 'Christian' God, has been hidden, thrown out as irrelevent, or completely abolished.
Prior to His death, Yahshua, known as Jesus (His Greek name), celebrated Hanukkah, Passover, and all things considered Jewish. He never came to abolish anything but to FULFILL the Word of God! (Matt. 5:17).