by: Nathan Williams, BFP Staff Writer
2017 will be remembered as the year of unforgettable anniversaries. In 1917 the Balfour Declaration was penned and General Allenby liberated Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire. The first Zionist Congress met 120 years ago and issued a united declaration to establish a Jewish homeland. This was pivotal for the next milestone which came 70 years later when the UN voted in favor of the partition plan that would create a Jewish state in their ancestral land. Almost as soon as the ink dried, Israel fought for her independence. Then, 50 years ago in 1967, Jerusalem was finally reunited and liberated from enemy forces.
It would be heedless to disregard these significant events in Jerusalem’s history, even more so to ignore a striking thread of cumulating liberty bestowed upon the city of Jerusalem and the indigenous Jewish people—something not seen for the last 2,000 years. Based in Jerusalem for more than 53 years, Bridges for Peace has used every opportunity to show unwavering support for the Jewish people. We celebrated this momentous occasion by highlighting what God is doing in Israel and also encouraging Christians around the world to celebrate with Jerusalem.
The prophet Isaiah exhorts us to “rejoice with Jerusalem all you who love her” (Isa. 66:10b). With this in mind, Bridges for Peace launched the “Rejoice with Jerusalem” celebration campaign. We asked Christians all over the world to have parties to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day. Not only was the focus to host a joyous commemoration of the liberation of Jerusalem but also to educate others about its biblical and prophetic significance. The campaign included a comprehensive electronic party pack with everything the host would need. Anyone, anywhere was able to celebrate with Jerusalem right from their own home, church or prayer group. As a result, over 800 parties were held in over 52 countries! From Fuji to Peru, Sri Lanka to Madagascar, Christians around the world decided to stand with Jerusalem and rejoice with her.
Bridges for Peace and HaYovel alongside the Jewish organization, Israel 365, co-hosted a “Rejoice with Jerusalem” celebration at a venue overlooking the walls of the Old City. Christians and Jews rejoiced together. Our International President and CEO, Rebecca Brimmer, shared from the hearts of Christians around the world. “Tonight we celebrate the presence of God in Jerusalem. We rejoice with Jerusalem, because we believe the Bible. We rejoice as Christians because of the freedom of religion we experience with Israeli sovereignty over this city. And we are hosting this event because our hearts rejoice with the God of Israel, the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. This is the city that God chose, the only city that He chose—where He put His Name forever.”
The miraculous military victory of Israel was commemorated at the celebration alongside the mighty work of God in restoring Jerusalem. “I think of Zechariah who said children will be playing in the streets of Jerusalem,” said Member of Knesset (Israeli parliament) Rabbi Yehuda Glick. “I am not sure Zechariah himself understood that over 100,000 young Jews would parade in the streets of Jerusalem. This is the beauty of what we are seeing today, you can come to Jerusalem, come to Israel and see the words of the prophets materializing.” MK Glick was referring to the astounding turnout for the March of the Flags on Jerusalem Day, as tens of thousands of yeshiva (seminary) students poured onto the streets of Jerusalem, marched through the Damascus Gate and Lion’s Gate and on to the Western Wall plaza.
Following an in-depth explanation of the Six Day War, MK Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the US, conveyed that the war resulted in the US–Israel alliance, the deepest and most multi-faceted strategic alliance that the United States has had post World War II. MK Oren cautioned guests that the war for truth is still raging and that we are all combatants. “There is a war of history and it is not a war that will be fought in the sands of Sinai, or in the streets of Jerusalem or on the heights of the Golan. It is going to be fought on campuses, fought in the media, fought on the internet,” said MK Oren. “…we will fight it with facts…We will be armed with the truth.”
We stand at a pivotal time and place in history. As the world seeks to prevent Jerusalem from taking its rightful place in biblical destiny, we each have a decision to make. Will we stand with the biblical mandate and move of God’s Spirit to restore what was lost so very long ago? At Bridges for Peace we choose to stand with God; we choose to stand with the people and the land of Israel. We choose to stand for truth.
Photo Credit: Nathan Williams/bridgesforpeace.com
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