Thomas Cosmades

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WILL SHINE LIKE THE STARS FOREVER

CHAPTER 36

 

JERUSALEM AT LAST

From the time he came to the Middle East, Vahramís cherished ambition was to visit Jerusalem.  Jerusalem, where the Incarnate Christ lived, taught, performed miracles, and as the prophets had foretold, was crucified between two bandits.  This was the very place where He was buried and rose triumphantly on the third day, then ascended into the heavens from nearby Mount of Olives.  After having proclaimed Christ to multitudes in a wide region, it was a climactic joy to be in the city where the Lord Jesus had made eternal history.  At last the opportunity was here.

In those days when Jerusalem was under Jordanian rule one could travel conveniently from Amman. As everywhere else, churches here cordially welcomed Vahram and offered the pulpit to him.  Again he preached with the Holy Spiritís unction emphasizing conversion and calling lapsed believers to restoration.  In addition to the church ministry he loved to walk in the marketplaces and streets giving bold witness for Christ and trying to sell Scripture portions to everyone he met.  He took upon himself the spreading of the testimony of Christ in this Old and New Testament city.

In his preaching from the pulpit, his theme would often centre on the various aspects of Christ's ministry in Jerusalem.  His visit to the Garden of Gethsemane, to Golgotha and the Mount of Olives deeply touched his heart.  He lamented that the true peace coming from Christ was neither sought nor accepted in this city over which Christ had wept.  He prayed earnestly that the feet of Christ would soon touch the Mount of Olives. He recalled the words of Isaiah 66:13: "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem."

As he walked through the city, he reminisced over the past significance of Jerusalem and was thrilled with its glorious future. He often referred to Christ's Second Coming in his messages.  A city that was dwelt in for over a thousand years before Christ and is being inhabited until the present had witnessed many wars and much destruction.  He walked around the walls and observed the gates for which Jerusalem was called 'The City of Gates.'  In the past there had been approximately twenty gates.  Some of these were named after the kind of carriages or animals that went through them: Sheep Gate, Fish Gate, Horse Gate, Water Gate; and Damascus Gate, because it led to the road for Damascus.  The city that Vahram visited had eight gates.  One of them had been closed with stone and made part of the wall.  According to a common tradition, when the Messiah comes, it will be opened (Zechariah 14:4).

Although Vahram was an experienced preacher who had read and studied the Bible for many years, this first-hand knowledge of Jerusalem brought an entirely new perspective to his thinking.  After Jerusalem he visited Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born into this world in a cattle-shed[1].  The Eternal Word having assumed a human body in this insignificant place in poor circumstances, far removed from any pomp and show became vividly real to him.  Vahram thanked God again for assigning him a simple way of life.  His longing for the return of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom of peace and righteousness[2] was rekindled in these two cities close to each other.


 

  [1] cf. Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1

  [2] cf. Revelation 1:5-7; 22:7, 12, 17, 20

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