photo: Roman Kriman, JerusalemShots.com
First View of The Temple Mount
Entering Jerusalem, a highlight of any tour to Israel, stirs your soul, brings tears to your eyes and connects you to countless other sojourners who have traveled UP to Jerusalem through the ages. Viewing the Temple Mount, the dazzling white stones of the city, and the Mount of Olives for the first time is a sight that remains with you forever……that first sight of Jerusalem, guaranteed to take your breath away, comes just as you emerge from a tunnel that travels under Mount Scopus.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.’” [Zechariah 8:3]
Peace and Harmony
The Semitic root of the name Jerusalem means peace, harmony or completeness, and according to Jewish tradition the city of Jerusalem, Zion, the City of God, and the City of David was founded by Shem and Eber, ancestors of Abraham. In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Jerusalem was ruled by Melchizedek, an ally of Abraham. Later, as Joshua led the children of Israel into the land, an ancient people called the Jebusites ruled the city. Although Joshua allocated the city and surrounding territory to the tribe of Benjamin, it was only after King David brought God’s Ark of the Covenant into the city in 1000 BC that Jerusalem became Israel’s capitol.
This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. [Acts 10:36]
Home to 800,000 people and the sacred center of three religions, Jerusalem has been anything BUT peaceful, harmonic or complete…in its 5000 year history, enemies totally destroyed the city twice, besieged her 23 times, attacked her 53 times and captured her 44 times. Even today, Jerusalem continues to experience turmoil and unrest. Regardless of its history, Jerusalem remains God’s city, His jewel, His love, His City of Truth where He is certain to return.
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” [John 14:27]
The fact that Jerusalem has never experienced worldly peace does not equate to God breaking His covenant of peace with us. God’s peace is not the same as the world’s idea of peace and He WILL bring eternal peace to Jerusalem in His time. In our lives as Christians, we will not experience peace with situations or circumstances, we will not be at peace with the world, our neighbors or even our families, but we can experience peace with God. When we accept His gift of salvation, God’s peace with us cannot be shaken, removed, broken or changed. With His peace, we have His assurance that when we experience trials and less-than-peaceful situations, He faithfully walks with us. He never expects us to go it alone. Just as He has never left or given up on Jerusalem, He will not leave or give up on us.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. [Romans 5:1]