Christmas is one of the most universally celebrated Christian holidays but its primary focus of Jesus as being the Promised Jewish Redeemer is mostly unknown. Yet, says the American Pastors Network (APN), when Jesus is viewed through the Jewish lens of Hanukkah, Christmas and Jesus become truly alive and our attention is drawn to the fact that God keeps His promises.
APN recently explored this interesting topic on its weekly television program, “Stand in the Gap” TV, which airs on several regional networks, including in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, and nationally on Upliftv.
For the show, APN president and “Stand in the Gap” TV host Sam Rohrer welcomed Dr. Craig Hartman, founder and director of Shalom Ministries in New York City.
“The rich Jewish history, prophecy and importance of Jesus’ first and second coming and the connection to Hanukkah and temple worship is often carelessly discarded or simply unknown to Christians generally to the collective harm of both Jew and Gentile,” Rohrer said. “Christianity generally but sadly starts with Jesus in the manger not the Promised Redeemer in the Garden of Eden and covenanted through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Christianity also ignores the strategic holy days and convocations established by God for the Jews—and the Gentiles—so they would recognize Jesus when He came and the promise of eternal security that He guarantees to all who are His sheep.”
Rohrer added that the show had several goals so that Christians and Jews alike can find common ground and reason to celebrate.
- To establish a connection between the Jewish observance of Hanukkah and Christmas
- To lay the groundwork for the prophetical significance of the dedicated Temple, the historical fulfillment of this prophecy in Hanukkah and the glorious description of Jesus the unspotted sacrifice and the rededicated Temple
- To establish the challenge to both Jew and Gentile of what should be the real focus for the entire world during the Christmas and Hanukkah observances
“It is most unfortunate that in America and the western world—which rose to historic worldwide prominence by embracing the Judeo-Christian worldview of an eternal god, a creation, a fall and then redemption—has failed to learn the amazing significance of Hanukkah to our Christian faith. These four basic elements are the essence of a biblical worldview. In previous ‘Stand in the Gap’ programs, we’ve emphasized the character and nature of God, highlighting Him as Creator and mankind as the highest of God’s creations with an eternal soul and created in God’s image. We’ve gone into depth on cultural issues that arise out the fall and sin.
Now,” Rohrer continued, “we can focus on the aspect of redemption that was promised following the fall and realized in the first coming of Jesus Christ in his miraculous but prophesied birth in Bethlehem—the event we call Christmas. Yet Christmas is wonderfully linked to the festival of Hanukkah because it draws our minds and hearts to Jesus as Shepherd, Redeemer and Guarantor of eternal security for those who are true believers, because Jesus Himself celebrated Hanukkah every year He was on earth.”
Besides the television program, which has explored such topics as gun control, immigration, opioid addiction, race relations, Israel, Islam, marriage, voting and more, APN offers three national radio programs—“Stand in the Gap Today,” “Stand in the Gap Minute” and “Stand in the Gap Weekend”—airing on hundreds of stations nationwide at different times of day and reaching millions each week. These very popular and well-received programs consider the most important concerns facing the world from a biblical and constitutional perspective.