By Stephen Leonard
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you! For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.” Psalm 122:6, 9
Jerusalem, O Jerusalem! She is millenniums old! What haven’t you seen in your lifetime? And yet have even so much more to see. You are called in ancient Scriptures the “City of God” and the “Holy City.” No other city on earth has quite the long history of Jerusalem, as well as the multiple fulfilled prophesies that concern her.
No other city is so fought over or the focus of such controversy. It is not huge like New York, Tokyo, or Shanghai. Less than a million inhabitants compared to Tokyo’s 39 million. It also doesn’t come close to New York’s size geographically of well over 300 square miles. Yet she has the most significance of any city in the world because of God’s plan for her and his manifest focus on her.
Like Bethlehem, Jerusalem has Advent/Christmas implications. The Magi went to Jerusalem to discover the prophesied birthplace of the “King of the Jews,” the promised birth of the Messiah. Mary and Joseph took the 40-day-old infant Jesus to Jerusalem for the traditional purification ceremony in the Temple, according to the “Law of the Lord.” At this same occurrence, Simeon and Anna beheld the Christ child while prophesying about His future.
A twelve-year-old Jesus spent “wise” time in the Temple answering the questions of the Rulers of the Law, until his parents finally found him there and took him home to Nazareth where “he increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man,” as he grew.
Jesus and his family came each year to Jerusalem with the Jewish pilgrims. He taught in her synagogues. He performed miracles within her walls. He was arrested and tried there. He was crucified right outside the city. He rose from the dead and appeared there in his risen state. He ascended into heaven from Jerusalem and one day will return to her same Mount of Olives and Garden of Gethsemane.
Rightly so, is Jerusalem called “the Holy City,” the “City of God,” and in the book of Revelation, “the New Jerusalem” is described as coming down out of heaven, the prepared place of “many rooms,” spoken of by the Lord in John 14. It is home to the Saints, the followers of the Lamb, who know Jesus Christ as Savior and is home in whatever way her description, whether actual or figurative, allows. Come, Lord Jesus, come!