Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jerusalem Snapshot: Past, Present, Future by Edward Wood

In a strange irony, Jerusalem, the "City of Peace," is perhaps the most fought over and
 turbulent places on Earth. In vast swings of its inhabitants to both embrace God, his prophets, and in the course of time even his Son, it has also been the site of the most violent rejection of them all as well.

Within its borders lies Mount Moriah, where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his own son if need be. It became David's city after he had driven out the pagan Jebusites, and yet plunged into the depths of paganism itself ruled by all too many unworthy kings.

Eventually being destroyed by the Babylonians because of its populace turning from away God, some seventy years later it and the temple were rebuilt by the returning exiles under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah in the Fifth Century B.C.

Ruled in the middle of the Second Century B.C. by Antiochus IV, a descendant of one of Alexander the Great's four succeeding generals, who arrogantly defiled the temple, in a dazzling victory the Maccabees drove him out and for a short time gave what was left of Israel a period of autonomy.

By the First Century B.C. Israel was once more a vassal state under Roman rule. Into this era of occupation would be born Jesus of Nazareth who was greeted with palm branches and accolades as the Son of David and yet within a week would be rejected by the crowds calling for his crucifixion in what our modern calendar defines as the third decade of the First Century A.D.

Less than forty years after this appalling injustice the city and temple would burn again exactly as Jesus revealed in his Olivet Discourse under the forces of the Roman general Titus.

Nineteen centuries later, Israel would be reborn as a sovereign nation. Once more Jerusalem would become a matter of contention between the Jews and their Arab adversaries, a situation which is intensifying today and I personally believe will shortly become the flash point for the unraveling of the events of the Last Days.

When we consider Paul's words which tell us that we do not war against flesh and blood only but in fact against but the powers of darkness (Ephesians 11-18), the turmoil which has always been part of Jerusalem's history takes on a grim logic as we realize it has been the battleground between God and Satan for thousands of years, and will be until Jesus himself comes back to take his rightful place as the King of kings, reclaiming his city from its last usurper, the Antichrist.

When this happens it will usher in 1000 years of his righteous government in a near-Eden world, all of which precedes the coming of a new creation, new Earth, and New Jerusalem where the taint of sin will at last be gone forever.

And all of those who have believed across the ages will be there, home at last!