But Jerusalem was neither built or named by the Hebrews. It’s original name was something like – Urusalim which meant the foundation of Shalem and this was an ancient Ugaritic god – an idol. It is first mentioned in the Bible in Joshua 10: 1 when it was conquered, sacked and then abandoned by Israel. (Judges 1:8)
Then along came David, four hundred years later. In 2 Samuel 5: 6 we read David conquered Jerusalem and made it his capital. In Jerusalem, he established his palace, his home, his headquarters. It is regularly called The City of David.
Instead of referring today to an ancient idol, it is considered by Christians and Jews to be Jeru-salem – the city of peace. The city of Shalom! It symbolizes for me, the ministry of Jesus. Just like David He came and conquered a fallen world. He reclaimed us from sins and sorrow. He came as our Prince of Peace.
The world bases its peace on its resources, while God’s peace of God depends on relationships. How do we fare in that department? Do we measure ourselves by our bank account, our material possessions, or the lack of them? How do we do in the relationship area? Are we close with the Lord? Do we study His Word, Do we talk with Him? Do we listen for His guidance and wisdom? Are we blessed by His Spirit, our comforter?
When Jesus stood among His disciples after His resurrection, He said “Peace be with you” (NIV, KJV). He used the Greek word eirene, which is the New Testament equivalent to shalom. He was giving the deepest level and meaning of shalom to His followers.
And, John reiterated that the peace Jesus gave was Jesus’ own peace, not the peace of the world (John 14:27; 16:33; 20:21). Paul notes that a mind filled with the Holy Spirit has life and peace (Rom. 8:6).
Finally, Paul instructs all believers who have received peace to live in peace with others (Rom. 12:18).
Here’s a fascinating thought. When John baptised Jesus in the Jordan did he also transfer the traditional role of the High Priest to Him? John was a true high priest, a Cohen Gadol in Hebrew.
According to Matthew 3:15 it was the righteous duty of the ‘presiding High Priest’ to anoint the next one. Jesus was not of the priestly tribe of Levi but descended from the ancient order of Melchizadek. That fact mentioned in Hebrews 5: 11
It’s very interesting to see how strictly the Lord adhered to every detail.
Matthew 5: 9 says we should aim to be true spiritual peacemakers between people, believers or non-believers, and God (Matt. 5:9).
How closely do we observe those details?
The Heavenly Jerusalem
Rev. 3:12 ‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
These words were oginally spoken to the Church in Philadelphia. It was a known earthquake area. But God assures them.
a) “I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God”
Picture those stately pillars. I have visited many amazing ancient temples in Israel and in most cases, the pillars remain standing after thousands of years. All around them the rest of the structure has crumbled but the pillars standout sturdy and majestic.
God promises to make His people like those strong, defiant pillars!! In ancient times, the names of the most important people in the city were engraved on them.
The term “temple” here is a term (naos) from the verb “to dwell” and was used of the place where the Lord’s divine presence dwelt. This promise is for you!!! It says the believers who overcome will never have to leave His presence. It links directly to the words of David in Psalm 23: 6
“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
b) “I will write on him the name of My God”
Who’s the most important Person you know? Yes, It’s Jesus! You are His pillar and He promises to write His name on you.
That overwhelms me. I never experienced this truth more powerfully than when I lived in Israel. Some Jews wanted to throw stones at us, because we proclaimed Jesus. We faced stone-throwing when we drove inadvertently into a religious area on Friday evening, their Shabbat (Sabbath)
Arabs threw stones at me when I visited an archaeological dig in East Jerusalem. But we were also sought out by many Jews to pray for them, to stand with them, to comfort them. They knew we were Christians and they observed that Jesus answered our prayers.
Rev. 14:1 “Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
God identifies with His children!
Rev. 22:4 “they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.”
“the new Jerusalem… new name”
Revelation picks up on the prophecies of Isaiah:
(1) new things, Is 42:9; 43:19; 48:6 (Rev. 21:5);
(2) new song, Is 42:10 (Rev. 5:9; 14:3);
(3) new name, Is 62:2 (Rev. 2:17); 3:12;
(4) new heaven and new earth, Is 65:17; 66:22 (Rev. 21:1).
The new Jerusalem is simply a metaphor for the presence of God among His people. This is the source of shalom. He is the Prince of Peace. He is our future and our hope. He is the way we overcome. The world depends on personal ability, but the Christian depends on spiritual adequacy in Christ. In the world, peace is something you hope for or work for; but to the Christian, peace is God’s wonderful gift, received by faith.
In John 14:30–31, the Lord named two of our great spiritual enemies—the world and the devil. John 12:31 “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” Do you get it? Not maybe, or possibly or might be! Jesus said “It is finished!” He triumphed over them for you and for me.
His own perfect peace assures us that He alone gives true and blessed shalom. With His peace we find the highest possible state of His grace.
When Jesus stood among His disciples after His resurrection, He said “Peace be with you” (NIV, KJV). He used the Greek word eirene, which is the New Testament equivalent to shalom. He was giving the deepest level and meaning of shalom to His followers. Paul notes that a mind filled with the Holy Spirit has life and peace (Rom. 8:6).
Finally, Paul instructs all believers who have received peace to live in peace with others (Rom. 12:18). We should aim to be true spiritual peacemakers between humanity, believers or non-believers, and God (Matt. 5:9).
May you walk, live and rejoice in the ‘peace of God which passes all understanding.’