I just returned from a trip to Israel. It was my second trip but my first time to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is the in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem and is now covered by a Muslim mosque. It is at the top of Mount Moriah where Abraham attempted to sacrifice Isaac before God intervened. It is also the site of the Holy of Holies, where both Temples were built and God chose to make His holy dwelling place on the earth during Old Testament times. The Orthodox Jews prefer to pray at the Wailing Wall instead of venturing to the site which is considered by them to be too holy for human visitation.
I stood there looking at the Muslim mosque, several Christian churches built nearby and the Jewish synagogues in the same vicinity. I realized, more than ever, that Jerusalem is the center of a major clash of religious idealogy. It also reminded me to pray for the good news of the Gospel to spread, both in Jerusalem, and around the world. I was reminded that Jesus came to give us a new covenant of grace and a relationship with God that did not depend on human works or merit. He does not require us to build elaborate temples or to construct ornate shrines. He just asks that we believe. I walked away from my visit a thankful man. The Temple Mount is a sacred place, but the most sacred place that God desires is to rule our hearts and I am grateful that my eyes have been opened to this wonderful truth.