For Zion’s Sake: the significance of Jerusalem
Last December the United States government recognized what I believe the Scriptures clearly teach: the true capital of Israel is Jerusalem. The United Nations lost no time condemning Israel as well as President Trump’s declaration in a vote of 128 for condemnation, nine against and 35 abstentions. Wow!
I believe that what we are seeing goes well beyond earthly politics. God’s Word predicts how the nations will be aligned against Jerusalem in the end times.
Jerusalem is the city where . . .
What is the significance of Jerusalem? It is where God commanded Abraham to bind Isaac for a sacrifice; it is where David was inspired to build the Temple and where Solomon carried out the plans. It is where Jesus walked the streets, touched lives, was crucified, buried and resurrected. Perhaps most of all, it is where He will return one day. Jerusalem is the religious center of Israel and it is where the government of Israel, the judiciary, the prime minister, the Knesset and the parliament all meet.
Jews for Jesus recognizes Jerusalem as . . .
As Jews for Jesus relentlessly pursues God’s plan for the salvation of the Jewish people, we recognize that Jerusalem is a big part of that plan. For eighteen years we’ve been reaching out to every city around the world where more than 25,000 Jewish people live. Jerusalem is the final city and the most comprehensive of all outreaches in this strategy and we really covet your prayers as it is coming very soon!
We are compelled by the words of Isaiah: “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns” (Isaiah 62:1).
The meaning of Zion
Zion is mentioned 150 times in Scripture. The etymology of the word is uncertain (linguists argue its meaning could be “dry place,” “brook” or “castle”!) But there is no doubt that biblically speaking, Zion is a place – the city of David, Jerusalem!
Jerusalem is the most contested ground on the planet with over 30 wars fought over her throughout history. Why has Zion always been a center of controversy? Because God has placed His name there and it is therefore ground zero for the spiritual conflict of the ages.
The future of Jerusalem
Isaiah assures us that ultimately God will rejoice over Jerusalem the way a groom rejoices over his bride. What an amazing metaphor! Further, God’s promise to restore Jerusalem is not just for her sake, or for His own joy, but for the salvation of the nations. The world will see what God has done for Jerusalem and give praise to God. And just as God raised up Isaiah to speak out this good news, He is raising up people He calls watchmen to join in “giving the Lord no rest” until He fulfills all His promises to Zion (see Isaiah 62:6–7).
I believe God has called Jews for Jesus to be watchmen for Zion today, and I believe He is inviting you to join us in this through prayer. Together we must not be silent. Together we must not give the Lord rest “till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (see Isaiah 62:7).
Jerusalem as a gospel illustration
Friends, this is the gospel. What God is saying to Jerusalem He is also saying to all of us. He loves us. He values us. He wants to welcome and restore us, and give us hope for a bright future – not because we deserve it but because that’s the kind of God He is. The bad things that happen in Jerusalem and elsewhere point out just why God sent Jesus to die in that very city so long ago. He loves and intends to restore us to a life of flourishing now and in the future.
Jerusalem is not just a city, it’s a picture of God’s ultimate reign. When John said, “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2), he was speaking about a glorious future God has planned, not only for Israel but for people of all nations. Because you love the Word of God and the purposes of God, I ask you to join us in praying for the peace of Jerusalem – and for our upcoming outreach there.