I was reading The Book of Ezra this morning, and it reminded me of something that I’ve been neglecting: THE KEY.
For some reason that I do not understand, the events of the Bible revolve around a tiny patch of ground called Jerusalem. And yes, I do mean tiny.
Jerusalem is almost exactly one square kilometer in size – one kilometer on each side. That’s 247 acres. The average farm in America is 418 acres (as of 2009).
Did you get that?
The average farm in the United States is larger than the area that the ancient city of Jerusalem sits on today. And, before the time of Christ, it was even smaller.
THAT is a tiny patch of land, and the most important prophecies in The Bible revolve around it: The Coming of Messiah.
(By the way, take a moment and try to guess why the Book of Ezra
reminded me that Jerusalem is THE KEY.)
Here’s what I consider to be the most important prophecy of the coming of Messiah:
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. – Daniel 9:25-26
There’s a timer that starts ticking when the command goes out to build the city of Jerusalem. It was a 490 year timer, and its job was to count down to the coming of Messiah. And, Jerusalem was THE KEY.
When Jesus prophesied about the utter destruction of the Temple, His disciples were shocked and asked Him when it would happen and the signs that would indicate when it would happen. He gives a detailed answer to their question, and then gives a statement that would shape history for one thousand and nine hundred years:
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. – Luke 21:24
That verse literally spans 1900 years – from AD70 to 1967 (6-7-67). And, Jerusalem is THE KEY.
Furthermore, the capture of Jerusalem starts the timer that leads to the second coming of Messiah:
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. – Luke 21:27
I call this generational timer a prophecy clock and describe it in my article, Apocalypse – Why Now. And, what does this generational timer count down to?
The return of Jesus Christ.
Now, why did The Book of Ezra remind me of all this?
In The Book of Ezra, they were rebuilding The Temple – NOT Jerusalem. The commandment to rebuild The Temple was under Cyrus (and also Darius), during the first year of his reign, which began in 559 BC.
When did the commandment to build Jerusalem happen?
That was under Artaxerxes I, more than a hundred years later.
Why is this important?
Because this shows that The Temple isn’t the key.
Jerusalem is THE KEY.