Jerusalem: Ground Zero for Christians
On our recent trip to Israel, we concluded our time by spending a couple of days in Jerusalem. This city is truly “Ground Zero” for Christians: this is where Jesus was betrayed, put on trial, brutally whipped, crucified, buried, and where He rose from the dead. It’s also where He ascended into Heaven and where He will return one day. This all staggers the imagination!
In David’s Day, Jerusalem was 12-14 acres with about 1,500 people. In Jesus’ day Jerusalem was about 400 acres with a population near 40,000. Today, Jerusalem is a city of 50 square miles with a population of 800,000. It is an amazing city of beauty, history and archaeology.
The ancient Temple of Solomon sat on Mt. Moriah, where Abraham was told to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. This is the temple that the Babylonians destroyed in 586 BC. It was then rebuilt, and destroyed again by the Romans in AD 70. Today the Dome of the Rock (the iconic Islamic golden, domed shrine) sits atop Temple Mount. This was built in 691.
While there recently, I had the privilege of lecturing to our group at a beautiful site overlooking Temple Mount. We talked about the past, present, and future aspect to this city. We talked about its strategic location among the nations and God’s choice of this small piece of real estate to make His Name famous among all peoples. We opened our Bibles and looked at the sweep of history concerning this ancient city. I addressed four key questions over the course of an hour’s lecture:
- Why did God choose Jerusalem as His capital?
- Why did Jesus ever start out for Jerusalem?
- Why was Jesus hailed as “King”?
- What did Jesus say about the end of the world while in Jerusalem?
As we sat there pondering these things, one lesson stood out loud and clear: Jesus is Lord of history! He is the Creator, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Him. And He is coming back one day to conquer His enemies. Jerusalem is truly “Ground Zero” for all true disciples of Jesus.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor