This mid-week edition looks at the significance of Jerusalem to God.
SINCE YOU ASKED
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JERUSALEM TO GOD
The Book of Revelation ends with a description of the holy city that literally comes down from heaven. It is the place where God will dwell with His people. Within it are the dwellings that are order 5mg cialis cheap online being prepared for believers in God”s Messiah, the Lord Jesus the Christ. It represents the culmination of the entire book. All the struggles, bloodshed, and the worldwide devastation of the Tribulation Period have led to the pinnacle of all that God has created for mankind. We must not lose sight of the significance of its name; the New Jerusalem. It is described as the “bride, the wife of the Lamb,” the same descriptions given to the body of believers (the Church). This seems to indicate that the New Jerusalem as a “bride-city” represents the close personal relationship God will enjoy with His people (the Bride). God has chosen to become directly accessible to His children.
Perhaps the most striking and profound characteristic of the “holy city” throughout history has been the presence of God”s glory. In Old Testament times, the Shekinah glory rested on the Ark of the Covenant in the holy of holies within the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. Due to Israel”s sin, the glory departed even before the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. The builders of the Second Temple prayed for the return of the former glory, but there is no record that it ever did. In those dark days, Israel”s only hope was for the glory to return one day. For over 400 years, the dark and empty Temple symbolized Israel”s dark and empty spiritual condition.
AS I SEE IT
When Christ came to earth as a
baby, His primary mission was to become the fulfillment of all the sacrificial Temple services. Every sacrificed animal pictured Him as the ultimate and final, once for all sacrifice. As such, the sacrificial system came to an end. The primary function of the Temple was no longer necessary. The bodies of individual believers would become temples of the Holy Spirit. As a commemoration of this momentous transfer, God gave an unmistakable sign-the return of the long awaited glory. When exactly did it return? We hear of it every time the Christmas story is told:
And the angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…
For the first time in over 400 years, the glory was back. Unfortunately for Israel, she officially rejected her Messiah, making the glory available to Gentiles who received the Savior by grace through faith. The Second Temple, expanded by King Herod, was destroyed along with Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The building of the Third Temple during the Tribulation Period will not restore the glory the Jewish people are longing for. The glory of God in its fullest will only be seen in the New Jerusalem, the sin-free holy city of God.
Jerusalem has always been associated with God”s glory. Tampering with this city is done at great risk. God”s reputation, name, and glory are at stake. To learn more about Jerusalem, check out my book, The Israeli Connection.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE