“Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do.” President Donald Trump
Can you name another city in the world as important as Jerusalem?
Thomas Aquinas made famous the “QUINQUE VIAE” (aka five proofs for God’s existence).
- The unmoved mover.
- The first cause.
- The argument from contingency.
- The argument from degree.
- The teleological argument (“argument from design”).
Perhaps we should add a sixth reason, the continued existence of Jerusalem.
The existence of Jerusalem points to God. What other city has been attacked (52 times), captured (44 times), and beaten (23 times)?
Jerusalem is mentioned ten times as much as the Church (800 occasions). Jewish mystics believe there are 70 names for Jerusalem and that each of us is born with a Jerusalem heart. God made mankind with an innate love for both earthly Jerusalem and the Jerusalem from above.
Unknown to most spiritual treasure hunters is the gold mine of 4th Ezra. This fictional book takes place a decade after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Ezra cannot understand why God allowed His city to fall. In the midst of his despair, he encounters a woman also grieving over Jerusalem. Ezra’s channels his inner rabbi and exhorts her saying:
“Shake off your great sadness then and put away the multitude of your sorrows so that the mighty one may show you favor and the Most High may give you peace and rest from your labors. While I was speaking to her, look! Suddenly her face shone brightly, and her countenance became a flashing splendor. I became afraid of her, and I wondered what was happening. Without warning, she let out a noise, a great voice full of fear so that the earth itself shook with the sound. I watched, and she no longer appeared to me as a woman, but there was a city built and a place with great foundations.”
Ezra asks us to stop grieving over our earthly Jerusalem’s and start yearning for the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem isn’t a top priority for this Christian. I don’t share that homesickness that our Jewish brothers when they pray, “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem is our way of acknowledging the reality of the New Jerusalem. Like John, when we experience the Holy City coming down from heaven into our hearts, it is God’s grace. The longing for Jerusalem is really about your love affair with Christ, her husband. “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither.”