Jerusalem – Weekly Sermon – February 18, 2018

Sunday, February 18

“Jerusalem”

Zechariah 12:1-3

 

Jerusalem, Jerusalem.

 

There is no city I the world that has had, has now or will have as much of an impact upon the physical and spiritual fortunes of so many as Jerusalem.

 

Jerusalem is located on a plateau in the Judean mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Seas.

 

It is one of the oldest cities in the world.

 

Jerusalem is considered as “Holy” by the 3 major monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

 

Jerusalem truly has been, is and will be a burdensome stone to this world and its inhabitants.

 

The history of Jerusalem is long.  Archeologist recently unearthed a site dating back to the “Copper Age” 7000 B.C. We would say that a little too long.

 

Livable and sustained settlements are unearthed dating around 3000 B.C. in the “Bronze Age”.

 

Its originals were Canaanites.

 

It held numerous names over the centuries such as Shalin by the Sumerians, Yerushalayim in the Hebrew – Yireh meaning the “Abiding place of peace”.

 

It is believed to be the biblical “Jebu” and the place of melchicadek the priest called “Shalin”.

 

It was called Heteropolymers by the Greek which meant “Holy”.

 

The Roman Latins called it “Aiello Capitoline”.

 

In Arabic it was called “al-Quo’s” or “The Holy” or “the Holy Sanctuary”.

 

The Jews referred to it as the “Fortress of Zion” and I believe they called it it’s most important name – “The City of David”.

 

David took it by force in 1000 B.C. and moved the Israelite capital from Hebron to Jerusalem.

 

It was during the time of David and Solomon that Jerusalem began to see its glory and potential.

 

David solidified its strength and Solomon built David’s desire “The Lords Temple” or the 1st Temple.

 

Upon the death of Solomon civil war broke out.

 

Ten Northern Tribes broke from the monarchy and created their own kingdom know as Israel.

 

Two southern tribes Judah and Benjam were renamed the “Kingdom of Judah”.

This also included the Aaronid Priesthood.

 

Judah remained in Jerusalem and it continued to be their capital.

 

In 722 B.C. – Israel was beaten and conquered by the Assyrians and taken into exile.

 

In 586 B.C. Judah fell to the Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar tore down the city and its walls.  Then put the people in captivity.

 

This siege produced the razing of Jerusalem and her walls.  It also began the 70-year prophetical exile.

 

Jerusalem was down, but not finished.

 

In 538 B.C. Persian King Cyrus the Great funded Zerrubbal to return and rebuild the Temple.  It was finished in 516 B.C.

 

Ezra followed Zerubbal and he reinstituted the worship and the Law.

 

Then came the man called Nehemiah and he oversaw the building of the Ext. walls and gates which was done in an amazing 52 days.

 

During the Roman occupation a man called Jesus of Nazareth claimed Jerusalem as his own. Because after all it really was his as the direct descendant of David.

 

It was the city that He looked down upon in His final hours and lamented “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem”

In Matthew 23:37-39

 

It was the walls that Jeremiah built that Jesus prophesied would not stand.  Matthew 24:1-2

 

In 70 A.D. Roman General Titus fulfilled this by killing 600,000 Jews and tearing down the walls.  There was a rumor that the mortar contained gold and the greed of the soldiers inspired them to knock the walls down.

 

Jerusalem saw the likes of Alexander the Great, and Romans, Persian, Arabs, Fatimids, Seljuktucks, the Knights Templar and Crusades, Egyptians, Mamelukes, (Egyptian slaves that revolted and formed an army), Islamists, Brits, and Jews and natives of Palestine.

 

Jerusalem was in Arab hands until May 14, 1948 when the flag of David was raised for the first time on the Promised ground in about 2500 years.

 

But not all the city was under Jewish control. The western part was Israeli, and the East or Old City was under Arab control by the Jordan’s.

 

The Old City held the likes of the “Wailing Wall”, the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

The former of Jewish spiritual concern the latter two of Islamic spiritual concern

 

The Jordanians did not permit the Jews access to the Wailing Wall which is the only standing part of Solomon’s Temple and the rebuilt 2nd.

 

The Old City also find the “Church of the Holy Sepulchre”.

 

Jerusalem means much to the Arab m the Jews, and for us Christians.

 

For us there are several reasons we cherish Jerusalem.

 

It is the place called the “City of David” it is the earthly city of God, Christs city, A place he did so much in and for.

 

It is where Christs healed the lame, the mentally ill, the deaf, the dumb, the possessed, its where He called the temple “His Father’s House”, it’s where he told Mary and Joseph “I must be about my Father’s business. Jerusalem watched as it’s Savior was tortured and crucified on it’s outskirts and where he was buried and resurrected from the dead.

 

We also cherish it because it was given to God’s people Israel as part of the Promised Land.

 

It and the Holy Land are their birthright.

 

The Jews annexed the Eastern or Old City in 1967, at the conclusion of the 6 Day War.

 

The Jordanians got greedy and joined Egypt and Syria in attacking Israel.

 

Israel did not crumble, they fought back and won.

 

They took the West Bank, the Old City, and the Golan Heights from the Syrians. Prophecy had been fulfilled Jerusalem was once again under Israeli Control and it was once again a unified Capital.

 

Asking or demanding that Israel give back what they won is like asking us to five back part of the D.C. area to the Brits or Potomac Indian Tribe.

 

We would not, and neither should they. These are buffer zones for the Jews.

 

Giving back the Old City to people who for 70 years have proclaimed they seek the destruction of Israel and the murder of any and all Jews is like owning a house and keys to people who have said they want to kill you and they would if possible. That is crazy, and so it would be for the Jews to five back any of Jerusalem.

 

Jerusalem is definitely the burdensome stone that God said it would be.

 

Ten’s of thousands have died for its occupation.

 

In its history it has been besieged 23 times.  Totally destroyed two times, it has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times. Those numbers are unprecedented for any city, anywhere.

 

I believe that Jerusalem according to God’s word will be the city where blood shed will continue, that the world will go to war over, the place where the Anti-Christ will set up his capital and it will be the place where Jesus will return to and rule and reign for 1000 years.  It will also be renamed and rebooted as the Holy Jerusalem that we Christian will eternally abide in.

 

Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem.

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