ESSAY-LIKE SUNDAY MORNING: Today’s lesson was entitled, “MAKING THINGS NEW”. The Scripture was from Revelation 21:1-8. The KEY VERSE was verse 4 which reads, “He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order or things has passed away (NIV)”.
In Abraham’s time, there was a high priest by the name of Malchezidek. Malchezidek was also the ruler of a kingdom called “SALEM”.
SALEM is an interesting word. It means PEACE. It is derived from the Hebrew word, “Shalom”. This is how it looks in Hebrew- שָׁלוֹם. It can also be spelled using these variations: sholom, sholem, sholoim, shulem.
It is also the centerpiece of the phrase, popular among both American and Middle-Eastern practitioners of Islam, “As-salāmu ʿalaykum” and its accompanying response, “Waʿalaykumu s-salām”. As a matter of fact, a similar word is used throughout the Middle East to mean PEACE. Just a few examples follow:
• Afghanistan and Iran-Salām is used.
• Albania and Kosovo, Selamun
• In Turkey Selam as an equivalent to “Hello” or “Hi”.
• In Pakistan, “salam”.
• In India, “Salam” is used in informal situations
• In Bangladesh, Salām Aleykum is a simple greeting.
There are many more examples, but I won’t cover them here; suffice it to say, the word is a rather “universal” term for PEACE.
In previous lessons, we learned that Malchezidek was the “prototype” for Jesus Christ, in that, Jesus was a “High Priest” along the order of Malchezidek; that is to say, he was not of the tribe of Levi; the traditional “High Priests” of the Jews.
The Levites, up until the time of Christ, were the only people who could enter into the “Holy of Holies”, that being the place where God dwelled on earth.
Then came Jesus who, in the words of “The Greatest” prize fighter of all times, Muhammad Ali, “SHOOK UP THE WORLD!” Jesus did, indeed, “shake up the world”, literally, for it is said, in Matthew 27:50-54, “Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split”. But I digress.
Malchezidek was the HIGH PRIEST and king of SALEM. Thousands of years later, Jesus, the NEW HIGH PRIEST and king of ALL, including JeruSALEM, came riding into JeruSALEM on a donkey. A KING riding on a donkey.
But wait a minute, what of this first part of the word JeruSALEM? Jeru stems from the Hebrew word, YARA, which means: dual, as related to the two hills on which Jerusalem sits. And it also means: foundation of or the direction of. When the two parts are put together, JERUSALEM means “THE FOUNDATION OF PEACE.
In the Scripture from today’s lesson, we learn that a NEW JERUSALEM will be coming. Dictionary.com defines the word NEW as: of recent origin, production, purchase, etc.; having but lately come or been brought into being: (2. of a kind now existing or appearing for the first time; novel: a new concept of the universe: (3. having but lately or but now come into knowledge: (4. unfamiliar or strange: (5. having but lately come to a place, position, status, etc.
According to these definitions, the NEW Jerusalem will be something that we have never seen or experienced before. That’s what the word NEW suggests!
That being the case, the only thing the NEW Jerusalem and the OLD Jerusalem will have in common is the name, which, as we have already noted, means, THE FOUNDATION of PEACE.
And who will be the king of this NEW JERUSALEM? Who will be sitting on the throne? Who will be the PRINCE of PEACE? JESUS CHRIST of course! Our HIGH PRIEST and KING!
We will be able to go to God, through our HIGH PRIEST, for our every question, need or desire for verse 2 of chapter 21 says; “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God”.
SUMMARY: Jesus is coming again, and this time he’s bringing a NEW CITY OF PEACE in which ALL things will be NEW for all who are victorious.