Friday, May 15, 2009
In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
This was one of the biggest Welcomings of the Sabbath at the Western Wall in Jerusalem for quite a while. Captured with a timelapse function on my camera. This was right before it became prohibited to take any sort of photography. This is the holiest place in the world for the Jews. There were probably upwards of 7,000 Jews praying and chanting and singing songs to welcome in the Shabbat in hopes of the Messiah coming. Interacting with the Jews here is amazing because it has really helped me think about what I am saying when I pray. Every time I end a prayer it is "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen". I think about what I am saying more now because talking to Jews who believe that Jesus is not Jesus Christ, but just merely Jesus the man from Nazareth like many others who claimed Messiahship and passed away. They just think He was a Pharisaic Rabbi who studied Torah and worked miracles like others in history have done. But to them, Christ He is not. He is not the Messiah nor the anointed one, nor anything other than a man like Confucius who's teachings made a great impact on the world, but who didn't save anyone.
You really don't realize how important something is to you, until you experience the absense of it. Then you find how much you really love and appreciate that thing that has been such a part of you. Saying "Jesus CHRIST" just seems right or normal to me and yet to millions of people it is not normal...it is even blasphemous. But in the end, every knee will bow and every tongue will finally confess that Jesus IS the CHRIST, Χριστός (Khristós) -Greek- for "the anointed one", the MESSIAH, מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ,) -from the Hebrew- for "the Messiah". Yet now, to the Jews, the Messiah has not come and they go to the Wall of the Temple of Solomon where it was prophecied that the Messiah would come. For them, there is no atonement, no resurrection, no life...just a longing for a future event that will never happen. However, it was quite the experience to see them with such devotion and hope at this place so holy to them. Almost other-worldly. Their devotion to their religion and their love for that in which they believe is an impressive site. Such devotion is difficult to find in the United States or many other parts of the world. But no matter how many of them there are and how beautiful their alms and their prayers and their songs and their dances (I even participated with them), it doesn't make them right. The majesty of it almost makes you wish they were right. Egyptians built the incalculable pyramids with equally impressive devotion...to gods who never existed.
I am grateful for my knowledge of Jesus CHRIST, the Messiah, who came. And the devotion of the Jews at the Western Wall instills in me a desire to be more devoted to mine.