The Chanukiah (the Hanukkah menorah) has very special instructions for how it is lit. The lamp stand itself has eight candles, with one extra candle set apart or placed higher than the other candles. This special candle is the shamash, or servant candle. All the main candles on the menorah receive their light from the shamash. In the same manner, we receive our light from the Messiah, the Suffering Servant of The Almighty of whom it was written:
“That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).
When Messiah Jesus was on the earth, He described His life and ministry in this way:
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
The prophet Isaiah proclaims:
“He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied; by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11).
Philippians 2:5-7 says:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Yeshua Ha Mashiach [Jesus the Messiah]: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
Yeshua is the Servant Candle (Shamash). He taught his disciples to serve others as he did. He preached the virtues of humbleness and holiness. His ministry was to the lowest of humanity, bringing light to those in darkness. The Servant Candle is a picture of the Suffering Servant Messiah as prophesied by Isaiah:
“But he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the chastening for our well-being fell upon him, and by his scourging, we are healed”. Isaiah 53:5.
The Messiah Yeshua fulfills Chanukah as He does the great biblical feasts. As we kindle our Chanukah candles, let us remember this shining son of Israel, who loved his people and lived out the message of the Servant Candle of Chanukah. Yeshua is truly the reason for this season.