John 2:13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
After going down to Capernaum, Jesus goes up to Jerusalem which is to the south of Capernaum and so again it’s elevation we are talking about, when the text says He went up. The Bible has a lot to say about elevation.
- Noah’s ark came to rest on a mountain.
- Abraham took his son Isaac up to Mt Moriah in Genesis.
- Moses received the law on Mt Sinai.
- Mount Hermon where Jesus was transfigured.
- Jerusalem itself is situated on three mountains, Mt Zion, Mt Moriah and Mt Olive.
Mountains are frequently mentioned in scripture which makes sense because the landscape of Israel and surrounding lands is dotted with mountains. In fact, mountains are mentioned over 500 times in the Bible. So, there is a physical reality to elevation in the Bible which is an important thing to recognize when considering the spiritual significance of elevation in the Bible.
The most significant mountains in scripture are those of Mt Sinai, Mt Zion, Mt Moriah and Mt Olive. For the purposes of our devotion, we’ll focus on Mt. Sinai and Mt. Moriah.
- Mt. Sinai is the mount on which Moses received the law.
- Mt. Moriah is the mount on which Jesus was crucified.
- The people of Israel gathered around Mt Sinai and on the third day, Moses was called up to receive the law.
- The people of Jerusalem gathered around Calvary where Jesus was crucified, ushering in a new covenant of grace.
- At Mt. Sinai, 3000 people of Israel perished.
- After Jesus ascended to heaven, 3000 people were saved.
- Mt. Sinai was scorched black by the presence of God.
- Mt. Moriah was immersed in darkness and stained by the shed blood of Christ.
The elevation of the temple mount is 740 meters on Mt Moriah and it continues to ascend from there, a ridge line that peaks at 777 meters at a place called Calvary. And we even have a picture in this … between the Temple Mount and Calvary, in that Calvary stands higher in elevation.
Elevation plays a role in our Christian life as well. Do you realize that when we come to church, in a sense we are “ascending.” We ascend up out of the daily grind, the treadmill, the nine-to-five, the squirrel cage, the daily routine … And we lay down burdens and lift our eyes to the Lord. During the course of the week, we pick up things, take up things, accept things into ourselves or have things placed on ourselves that are burdens. But Jesus is faithful to remove the burdens we place on ourself and exchange it for the better burden of grace. Sometimes we come in to church with a bad attitude or frustrations and we start to worship and it’s just a wonderful feeling to let go and give God our problems, and ascend from that place of rote ritual and kneel before the cross of Christ.
Matthew 11:28–30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
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