Most Christians are familiar with the story of Hanukkah. For those who are not, I will give a brief synopsis. In the 2nd century BC, the Holy Jewish Temple was seized by Antiochus, ruler of the Syrian-Greek Empire. He then proceeded to desecrate the great temple and use it to worship Greek gods. After he was overthrown, the temple had to be cleansed for 8 days. There was only enough oil to burn the sacred lamps for 1 day, but miraculously, it lasted the full 8 days.
Now, this seems like a really good story about a long ago miracle, but how does it apply to our lives today? To fully appreciate the answer, you must understand that it was only the beginning of a story. It was a promise of something far greater to come.
You see, the rest of the story happened when Jesus came to fulfill the promises hinted at throughout Jewish history. The fulfillment of the Hanukkah story happened when the Holy Spirit came to dwell in us, making us the new covenant temple. (1 Cor. 6:19-20) All of us start out with a defiled temple. No one is exempt and no one has defiled themselves beyond the reach of a merciful God. We all must go through a cleansing process before the Holy Spirit can dwell within us. Under the new covenant, the oil used for the cleansing and anointing of the new temple is the shed Blood of Jesus Christ. And the beauty of it is that it is so powerful that the cleansing is instantaneous. All we have to do is to believe and submit to its power.
So when you see the Menorah, thank Him for the fulfillment of that ancient promise and the miraculous cleansing of the Temple of the Holy Spirit.