“New Israelites and New Jerusalem”

                                               by Pastor Jess Foglesong

The Sky was bright and sunny as my wife and I drove about 50 miles away to the pleasant City of Santa Rosa, Ca. to visit long time dear friends. It was quite nice to travel south along the waterways of the Napa River (which eventually meanders north through the glorious Napa Valley Wine Country). We were not headed in that direction, but south through the small town of Petaluma, Calif; then north, passing beautiful rolling hills and meadows of the Sonoma County (southern portion) vineyard region. Eventually we arrived at the outskirts of metropolis -- Santa Rosa.

As we approached the city, I could not help but think of the day that Jesus had approached the Great City of Jerusalem. (Matthew 21:1-11) He had been ministering to the people for 3 ½ years by then. During that time he preached to the people that they should seek God and His Kingdom. He also performed miracles and healed many people. Now he realized the time had come to lay down his life for the world as their saviour. He wished to go to Jerusalem for the Passover and he knew that if he did, he would put himself in danger.

The people loved Jesus, and as he approached Jerusalem on the back of a donkey colt, they rejoiced to see him. Jesus was greeted by a multitude of followers … indeed many asked: Who is this? And the multitude said, “This is Jesus the Prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” And Jesus went into the temple of God, and immediately cast out all of them that sold and bought; and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves. And said unto them, “It is written, ‘my house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.”

And Jesus went on his way … and the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them.

I caught myself -- thinking so deeply … a very dangerous thing to do while driving. But the thoughts persisted: in the eyes of Jesus, knowing what had to be done -- what the prophets proclaimed: All this was done, that it might fulfill … Behold , thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

So, instead of the Messiah entering the Great City of Jerusalem in glory and fanfare, he entered on a lowly donkey, without fanfare, but meek and insignificant. Certainly a Messiah … this man is not (many agreed). But Jesus had his followers, who stood by him -- and were amazed as to his powers.

In the New Testament Jesus had become the “new temple.” Just as the Old Testament Nation of Israel was and established; he had become the New Testament (in one man, and Saviour); the New Israel, and New Jerusalem. We -- within the entire world -- as the believers of today, are the New Israelites -- the 144,000 (a perfect number, equaling all believers).   Jesus amplified his new position when he upset the sellers and moneychangers as he entered the temple. God was hovering close by at his every move; His presence and love was always at His Son’s side. Just as He is at our side today. His presence continually shines on us, and our world.

And as we pulled up into the driveway of our dear friends, my wife and I waved and smiled with immense joy and satisfaction that we were part of a greater body of believers (as the New Israelites and the New Jerusalem - Revelations 21:1 - 27) with glorious appreciation of the sacrifice of one: The Christ, Jesus;  and of the Father in Heaven: God, Jehovah, YahWeh! 

We thank you for your presence, and for your eternal "Light."  We thank you for your strength and guidance; we are in awe of your graciousness.  Father, we ask that you send your Angels (your Mighty Ones) to comfort the many that have fallen into the devastation of sickness and affliction.  We honour your wisdom and majesty ... through Jesus Christ, our Representative ... Amen!