Is Jerusalem Holy?

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
–Psalm 46:5 (4 in Chr Bibles).

In the First Temple, the Presence was in the Holy of Holies, the fire-cloud above the cherubim on the Ark. In the Second Temple, the Ark was not there, nor the fire-cloud. But was the Presence there in some way?

Yeshua went to the Temple as an adolescent to remain close to his father’s house, he said (Luke 2:49). He said the altar at the Temple was holy and made all that touched it holy (Matt 23:129).

We should conclude that Yeshua believed the Presence was there, in a different way, but there nonetheless.

Is the Presence still in Jerusalem? Many have thought so. In the middle 1800’s, a rabbi from Kishniev, Russia went to Palestine with a New Testament in hand. He read it in the land and found the one he called Brother Yeshua was more than merely a brother.

Another acquaintance of mine went hiking and hitchhiking in the 1990’s in Israel. He came to the conclusion that Yeshua is real and is really the king.

How many Jews enter Jerusalem in apathy and leave convinced that the Presence is real? How many Christians think going to Israel will be about learning some places and facts and come home with a new fire, alight with the idea of the Presence returning soon and in our days in tangible form?

In this week’s portion, we read that priest’s portion of grain offerings and sin offerings is holy to the touch. As it says in Leviticus 6:11 and 20 (18 and 27 in Chr Bibles), “anything that touches these shall be holy.” Sanctity is contagious. It can be contained in inconspicuous vessels. If it can be in unleavened cakes and boiled meat then it is not hard to believe it can be in Jerusalem limestone, in synagogues of the Land, in assemblies and groups gathered to study and pray, and in the very air.

When I am in Galilee, I feel as if I am entering the courtyard. In modern Jerusalem, I am approaching the inner courts. In the Old City, I have entered as close as the altar. At the Wall, in the Tunnel, and on the Mount, I am in the Holy Place.

Is it just imagination, sanctified emotion? Or is the Presence really here?

You can miss it. The Presence is not forceful or loud. Or you can experience it. Unlike the many places where we live and pray and read scripture, here the Living One is all around in a different way.

January 2-14, 2011, I am bringing a group to Israel. We’ll hike in Galilee and Golan. We’ll spend Shabbat in the desert, overnight in a Bedouin-style tent. We’ll pursue in every place the context of Yeshua’s life and message on the very rocks where he lived out his life and message.

To get more information and become part of the group, go here to my Israel Tour Blog.


About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
This entry was posted in messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Is Jerusalem Holy?

  1. Jeruz says:

    It is true… I used to live in Israel, specifically Jerusalem and even when I would leave for a day or two days, I would miss it, there is a drawing there, it is hard to describe, but it is powerful and addictive! Is it ok…? to be addicted to God’s Spirit, lol.

  2. jerrib247 says:

    I have just recently moved to Brussels, Belgium after living in Jerusalem for one year. I totally agree with what you said about God’s presence still being felt there. My favorite place that I visited weekly is the Temple Mount, because His presence will be there forever. (II Chron. 7:16) You can tangibly sense Him up there! There is no way to put into words what this last year in Israel has meant to me. I encourage EVERYONE to make it a priority to visit Israel at least once in your life. You won’t regret it!

  3. miked232 says:

    You know I can believe in the Presence “on the throne” in Jerusalem, but I must testify that I feel the Presence everywhere I go with the exception of despair. When will we proclaim “God’s Kingdom Come”? Look Adam&Eve were “sent out” of theGarden, TheGarden went NOWHERE! or is that just My interpetation.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s