Jerusalem, A Treasured City

Jerusalem is mentioned often in the Bible. Wikipedia gives a good overview: “Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East…It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to three major Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.” The Abrahamic religions are the religions that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Israelites, and the worship of the same one God of that of Abraham. Each of these religions is a monotheistic religion, which means that the people worship one god.

For centuries people have been fighting over Jerusalem, even to the point of its destruction- twice. God accepts good people from each one of these religions into his Heavenly home. Unfortunately, these religious groups have been at war often; they have been at war despite each of them worshipping the one God. I have a very simplistic way of looking at the fighting between the three groups. Christianity was seen as a threat to Judaism. Some Jewish people killed some of the early Christians. Some Jewish people have killed some Muslim people. Some Christians killed some Jews and some Muslims. Some Muslims have killed some Jewish people and some Christian people. God wants this to stop!

Quite a bit of the fighting has involved the sacred city of Jerusalem and surrounding countries. Yet, it is a sacred place. “Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE.” A very sacred Jewish temple was destroyed in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a pilgrimage location during Passover, Shavuot, and Sukhot. (myjewishlearning.com)

Jerusalem is also considered to be a holy city in Christianity. Jesus was brought to Jerusalem when he was a child to attend religious events and festivals. According to the gospels, “Jesus preached and healed in Jerusalem….” (Wikipedia). The Last Supper, Jesus’ trial, the crucifixion, and resurrection took place in Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem is considered a sacred site in Islamic tradition, along with Mecca and Medina. Islamic tradition holds that the previous prophets were associated with the city….” One Muslim pilgrimage site is the Ali-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Wikipedia (Note, prophets previous to Muhammad)

Interfaith site: uri.org “Islam: Basic Beliefs“

whyislam? “What is Islam?”

Prayer – It would be nice is people could work out some of their differences during our battle with the Corona Virus. A prayer for resolving differences and looking beyond those difference would be good.

Palm Sunday – Jesus Fulfills a Prophecy

I hadn’t thought that I needed to write more, but I had forgotten to listen to the church service for Elim Lutheran Church. I hear a single rap sound. Like a cane being rapped against the wall. This tells me that God is okay with something or that he wants me to do something. I listened to the church service. When it was over, God made another rapping sound. I figured out that he wanted me to write out the text from the Bible. This is very important to him.

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Jesus didn’t have to go back to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday – the Sunday before Passover. He needed to fulfill a prophecy, but he also made a conscious decision to do so. He knows that entering the city in such a manner (like a leader) will raise the ire of those in charge of running Jerusalem. Jesus rides into Jerusalem and is finally ready to be called the Messiah. Jesus has been to Jerusalem many times, but this time is special. Insights from featheredprop.com, “A Critical Study of Questions Regarding Luke 19:28-44.”

Luke 19:28-40 And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Beth’phage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples , saying, “Go into the village opposite, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat; untie it and bring it here.

If any one asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this, ‘The Lord has need of it’”. So those who were sent went away and found it as he had told them. And as the were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” and they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their garments on the colt they set Jesus upon it.

And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road. As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

I get some of my insights into Palm Sunday from: christiancourier.com “The Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

Hosanna is an expression of adoration or Joy. The trees nearby are Palm Trees. There are the multitudes with Jesus and there are multitudes of people gathering for the Passover (the meal that Christ has with his disciples and is referred to as “The Last Supper”) We get a bit more of the “picture” of what happens on Palm Sunday from Matthew 21: 8-11

Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest” and when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.”

After Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, he enters the temple and is upset and probably disgusted by what he sees going on in the temple. There are people selling pigeons (probably for sacrifice) and money-changers. Jesus overturns the tables and in Matthew 21:13 Jesus says, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you shall make it a den of robbers.”

By going into Jerusalem, Matthew tells us that Jesus is fulfilling a prophecy made in Zechariah 9:9

“Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.”

I get confused because in the Bible, Jesus goes into the synagogue, but in Jerusalem he goes into the temple. I will have to keep looking into this and also see what I find while I read the New Testament. I will have to see if the temple in Jerusalem is always called the temple. Jerusalem is a holy city for Muslims, Jews, and Christians. For Jews it was and is the holiest place on earth for them. Jesus was a Jew.