Our romance with Jerusalem, to some extent may be worth it. As a Christian, I also have my sentiments and emotional attachment to Jerusalem being that it was the centre of various shadows that represented Jesus and what he was coming to do. But my emotional attachment and bias isn’t the basis on which God’s word operate and when that bias begins to come in the way, it’s time to let go of it.
In the part of Nigeria where I was born, a lot of believers, especially pastors believe that visiting Jerusalem is one of the ways to increase in the anointing. Some claim go there to bring holy sand, holy water, anointing oil and so on which they claim helps them in facilitating miracles. Other persons claim that the moment they went to Jerusalem, they encountered God and felt his presence. Was it really God or just psychology playing out on them?
Initially, I would ignore some of these things because of my bias for Jerusalem but I think often times we begin to let what we feel come in the way of truth! It is just like asking every English man to turn back and head to Germany as a means of finding fulfilment based on the fact that English developed from Germany. Here is what I know about the pilgrimage to the “Holy Land”.
Pilgrimage is beautiful, I would love to visit Jerusalem too! It will be fun to see the palace Jesus was crucified, the tomb and many other sites! But listen carefully, there is no spiritual impact in pilgrimage. If Jesus wasn’t in the tomb when the Marys came to look for him, is it now that he will be there? We often want to build churches on lands believed to have been walked upon by Jesus or the Apostles, we often want to venerate the exact place Jesus sat and the places he threaded his feet. As great as they are, this was not in the plans of Jesus, he clearly showed it. The Angel told the Marys ” why seeking the living among the dead?”
Pilgrimage is a nice tour, if you have excess money to spend, go ahead,/spend it and the Israel government will keep getting richer off the revenues they make and that is still not a problem. The problem is when you start seeing it as a spiritual exercise. “JP” is such a nice suffix to one’s name but it doesn’t make you more “spiritual” than those who haven’t gone there. It didn’t add anything to you, it removed from you, it removed money and time! Maybe it added some kind of emotional and intellectual experience but it has no spiritual impact whatsoever. It is as great as flying to New York to see the famous statue or flying to Paris to see the tower.
It is a kind of fun I would love to have someday and not something I am hoping will increase my anointing. You remember the story of the Samaritan woman? This was exactly her issue, the issue of visiting the holy hand to worship but Jesus changed her perspective forever. He wasn’t joking when he said “a time is coming and is now when you no longer need to go up to the mountain or go to Jerusalem to worship. Those who worship God will do so in Spirit and in truth!”
The worship and experience of God is not in going for sightseeing! As awesome as the Holy Land is, you are holier because you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! You are the holy place, the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are a better experience than what you seek in Jerusalem! Yes, the empty tomb says “he is no longer here” but your Spirit says “He Lives In Me”