Friday, March 14, 2008

O Jerusalem

In the world of western history, all roads lead to Rome.
But in the Bible and in Jewish/Christian history, all roads lead to Jerusalem. Ever since David made Jerusalem his capital, and the glory of God descended upon Solomon's temple, Jerusalem has been the heart and soul of Israel.
The Psalmist wrote that well known blessing for the "Shalom" of Jerusalem; "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" [Ps.122:6]

When Israel was destroyed as a nation, the redemption and renewal of Jerusalem became their hope and salvation. "Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight." [Isa.65:18] Since ancient times Jerusalem has represented the hopes and dreams of God's people.

But Jerusalem was like a wayward child - constantly wandering away and then crying out to God in times of trial. Jerusalem was occupied by a series of foreign nations over the course of biblical history, and hasn't been free from discord or violence since then.
God came to her rescue time and time again, only for the city to rebel and turn away.

You can see God's longing for His lost city in the Gospel of Luke in the account of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. "As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, 'If you had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes." [Lk.19:41-42]
Jesus looked out over the city of Jerusalem and wept over it, knowing what was soon to take place - His arrest, trial, torture, and crucifixion less than a week away.
He saw not only His own fate, but He also looked ahead to the future, when the the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel would be destroyed by the hands of the Romans in 70 A.D.
Tears are still being shed over Jerusalem even today. Last week eight students were killed and eleven were wounded, when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at a Jewish Seminary in Jerusalem. We need to continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and even more importantly, pray that all people everywhere would come to know the Prince of Peace Himself,
Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

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