Jesus Celebrated Hanukah


This musical is about a group of kids who go to a retirement home in order to tell people about Jesus. They encounter an unusual old Jewish man who proceeds to tell them that Jesus was Jewish.  He then makes the startling revelation to the children that Jesus actually celebrated Hanukah!  This leads to songs about each of the biblical festivals described in Leviticus 23.  Ultimately, we learn that Jesus not only celebrated all of the festivals, but he fulfilled the spring festivals in his first coming, and will fulfill the fall festivals in his second coming.  We learn that the festivals still have great meaning today.




Cast of characters:









Benny and John and Cindy and Kathy are doing an assignment from their Sunday school class.  They are driving in a pretend car over to the retirement home while singing about it.  They are visiting a retirement home in order to make some friends and tell people about Jesus. 


Mother:  Ok kids.  Let’s get on our way to the Cherry Crest retirement home.


They drive around as they sing:


The Cherry Crest Retirement Home



Well I’m going on an outing with my Sunday school class,

I’m going to make the name of Jesus be known,

Gonna Rockem Gonna Sockem,

Off their feet we’re gonna knockem,

At the Cherry Crest Retirement Home.


They arrive at the retirement home.  The mother drops them off.


Mother:  Ok kids.  We’re here at the retirement home.  I’ll pick you up in 3 hours.


The mother drives off.  They enter the retirement home.  The sign on the door says “Finkelbaum Senile Center”.


Benny:   Are you sure we’re in the right place?  The sign on the door says “Finkelbaum Senile Center”.  And none of the other kids from our class are here.


Kathy:    Well, this is where my mom dropped us off.  We must be in the right place.


John:      Let’s start telling these old folks about Jesus.


Cindy:    Yeah.  Let’s try this room.


They enter a room where an old man is lying on the bed.  He appears to be asleep.


Benny:   Excuse me sir.  May we come in?


The man startles awake.


Man:       Welcome youngsters.  I see you’ve come to visit me and my friend!


John:      With all due respect sir, there is nobody in this room except for you and us.


Man        What?  So you think I’m a little crazy?  You think that maybe I have a case of brain drain?


Kathy:    Of course not sir.  We’re just stating a fact.


Man:       Come a little closer.  I don’t see so good anymore.


The kids move closer to the man.  The man grabs Benny by the cheek and squeezes it.


Benny:   Ouch!


Man:       You seem like a smart, healthy young man.  Come meet my friend.


Benny:   Where is he sir?


Man:       He lives inside me!


Cindy:    Kathy, I knew that your mom dropped us off at the wrong place.  Let’s get out of here.


Man:       Wait a minute.  What day is it?


Kathy:    It’s Friday sir.


Man:       Please stay a little longer.  My grandchildren are coming to visit me today.  I want you to meet them.


John:      Ok.  I suppose we can stay for about one more second.


Man:       Wait!  Did you hear that?  I think my grandchildren are here!


Benny:   I don’t hear anything.  Nobody else is here!


Man:       Hello precious grandchildren!


Suddenly the lights focus on the choir.


Choir:     Hello grandpa Plotznick!


Cindy:    Oh my!  You have so many grandchildren!


Man:       Of course I do.  The Lord said to be fruitful and multiply.  I was fruitful, and I multiplied!  Just look at all of those cute little Plotznicks!


Choir:     We love you grandpa Plotznick!


Man:       I love all of you too.  I was just about to introduce these young people to my special friend that lives in me.


Choir:     You must mean Jesus!


Kathy:    Wait a minute.  We’re supposed to tell you about Jesus.


Man:       Young people.  I’m sure that you have much to tell me.  But humor an old Jewish man.


John:      You’re Jewish? 


Man:       Of course!  This is the Finklebaum Senile Center.


John:      And you believe in Jesus?


Man:       Of course!  Wasn’t Jesus himself Jewish?


Choir:     Yes!


Man:       Were Peter and Paul Jewish?


Choir:     Yes!


Man:       Were all of his first followers Jewish?


Choir:     Yes!


Man:       Jesus is the Jew of Jews, the Jewish Messiah.  He even celebrated Hanukah!


Benny:   Are you sure about that?


Man:       Of course!  Shlomo!  Yenta!


Two kids in the choir answer.


Kids:       Yes grandpa Plotznick!


Man:       Come tell our fine feathered friends about Hanukah.


Kids:       Yes grandpa Plotznick!


Jesus Celebrated Hanukah


Shlomo sings:


The story is told so everyone will know,

It was in the land of Israel a long time ago.

A terrible king came with all of his men,

He captured the temple and committed many sins.

But God raised up the mighty Macabees,

They fought so very brave and they set the temple free.

They worked so hard and the temple they restored,

And Hanukah was celebrated by the Lord.




Jesus Celebrated Hanukah,

Jesus Celebrated Hanukah,

Jesus Celebrated Hanukah,

Jesus Celebrated Hanukah.


Yenta sings:


Dreidel, dreidel spinning around,

When it drops I’m a winner and I’ll make a happy sound.

Presents to open and latkes to eat,

There’s cookies and candies and lots of other treats.

Candles are burning, they’re burning so bright,

Come light the Menorah and fill our house with light.


Repeat Chorus


Kathy:    That’s all fine and dandy.  But how do we know that Jesus actually celebrated Hanukah?


Shlomo:  It says in John 10:22-23 “Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem.  It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.”


Cindy:    What is the Feast of Dedication?


Yenta:     That’s Hanukah!  Hanukah means dedication!  Jesus was in Jerusalem celebrating Hanukah!


Cindy:    So that’s the story of Hanukah.  Who are the Macabees?


Shlomo: The Macabees were a family that continued to worship God, even though they weren’t supposed to.  They fought against the enemy until the enemy was defeated and the temple was recaptured and rededicated to the Lord.  Macabees means hammer, because they struck the enemy fast and hard like a hammer.


Kathy:    It sounds like Hanukah is a fun holiday!


Man:       Fun?  Hey! Let’s have some fun today.  Let’s celebrate all of the Holidays


John:      How many are there?


Man:       There’s lots of them.  Fannie!  Simon!


Kids:       Yes Grandpa Plotznick!


Man:       Get down here!


Kids:       Yes Grandpa Plotznick!


Man:       These kiddies need to learn that Jesus not only celebrated the festivals, he is the fulfillment of each one.  Let’s tell them how Jesus died on the Passover.


Benny:   I know that.  Everyone knows that!  It was on Passover that Jesus declared the new covenant.


Jesus Died on Passover


Benny sings:


Jesus Died on Passover,

God’s innocent lamb was slain,

And if we put our trust in him,

Eternal life we will gain.


Because of God’s great love for us,

He sent his only son,

He died for every one of us,

And finished what he’d begun.




Then he broke the bread,

And this is what he said.


This is my body given for you,

Do this in remembrance of me.


Then he took the cup,

And he raised it up.


This is the blood of the covenant,

That is poured out for you.


Simon Sings:


On Passover we celebrate,

Our time is bittersweet,

We used to be in bondage,

But God has set us free.


God raised up a deliverer,

And Moses was his name,

He led us through the desert,

To the promised land we came.


Repeat Chorus


Fannie Sings:


On Passover we drink grape juice,

And eat unleavened bread,

We sing songs of deliverance,

And pray as we feel led.


On Passover there’s lots of food,

That we just love to eat.

Matzoh ball soup and Gefilte fish,

And charoses that’s so sweet.


Repeat Chorus


Benny sings again:


Jesus Died on Passover,

God’s innocent lamb was slain,

And if we put our trust in him,

Eternal life we will gain.


Because of God’s great love for us,

He sent his only son,

He died for every one of us,

And finished what he’d begun.


Cindy:    What is charoses?


Fannie:   Charoses is a mixture of chopped apple, walnuts, and grape juice.  It reminds us of the mortar used by the Israelites when they built the Egyptian cities.  We eat the charoses mixed with a bitter herb like horseradish, to remind us that the bitterness of slavery can be sweetened by God’s redemption.


Man:       Oy Vey! You are making me so hungry.  I could just die for some of that Charoses!  It has nuts.  I go nuts over nuts!


Simon:    Passover is really a bittersweet holiday.  For over 400 years the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, but God redeemed them.  All of us were once slaves to sin, but when we trusted Jesus, we were redeemed too!


Fannie:   Jesus is the Passover lamb.  1 Cor 5:7 says “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed”.


John:      Yes, but the good news is that 3 days later he was raised from the dead on Easter!


Man:       Not so fast young man.  He was raised from the dead on First Fruits.


John:      No sir!  I’m afraid it was on Easter!


Man:       You might call it Easter now, but he rose from the dead on First Fruits.  Minnie! Milton! 


Kids:       Yes Grandpa Plotznick!


Man:       Tell our little visitors about First Fruits.


Kids:       Yes Grandpa Plotznick!


Milton:   1 Cor 15:20 says “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep”.


Cindy:    Where is this First Fruits talked about in the bible?


Minnie:  All of the biblical festivals are described in Leviticus 23.  It first tells us about the Sabbath.  Then it tells about the spring festivals of Passover, First Fruits, and the Feast of Weeks which we call Pentecost.


Milton:   Then it tells us about the three fall festivals, the Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.


Cindy:    Yes, but those are all Old Testament festivals.  We don’t celebrate them today anymore since Jesus came.


Minnie:  That’s not true!  We still can celebrate them today with a new understanding.  Not only did Jesus celebrate all of the festivals, he also fulfilled all of the spring festivals in his first coming.  We can still celebrate them knowing that their true meaning is all about Jesus!


Milton:   First Fruits is also a wonderful festival where God’s people brought the first fruits of the early spring harvest as an offering to the Lord.



First Fruits




First Fruits!

It’s a time of joy,

It’s the day that God did do what he said.

First Fruits!

It’s a time of joy,

It’s the day that Jesus rose from the dead.


Minnie Sings:


They brought the first fruits to the temple,

As an offering to the Lord,

God delivered them into freedom,

Their lives he restored.


Repeat Chorus


Cindy Sings:


He proclaimed the sign of Jonah,

Then he spent three days in the earth,

Then the Son of Man did rise,

From the heart of the earth.


Repeat Chorus


Kathy Sings:


He proclaimed destroy this temple,

He would raise if up again,

He’s the first fruits of the kingdom,

That never will end.


Repeat Chorus