The Tragic Irony of Those Gates of Jerusalem

Daily Text Soundtrack 29b


March 22, 2021

Psalm 122

To the tune of “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart” Sing it at

1 I was so glad when they said unto me,
“Come, let’s go to the house of God the Lord.”
2 Our feet are standing here within your gates,
O bless’d Jerusalem, of all adored.

3 See now Jerusalem, the city great,
Built as a city close—compacted well;
4 To which the tribes go up—tribes of the Lord,
To praise His name, as He told Israel.

5 There were the thrones for judgment set by God;
The thrones of David who ruled all the land;
6 Pray for the peace now of Jerusalem,
“May all who love you prosper well, and stand.”

7 “May there be peace within your walls always;
Prosperity within your citadels.”
8 So for the sake of brothers and of friends,
And for the sake of all Israel;

Thus, I will say, “May peace within you reign.”
9 And for the sake of the house of the Lord,
I will seek your prosperity and good,
O bless’d Jerusalem, of all adored.


We find ourselves now walking through the final weeks with Jesus on this desert journey to Jerusalem. Lazarus’s resurrection party is now in the rearview mirror. The time for pilgrimage has come again. We march to Zion— beautiful, beautiful Zion. We hear the litany spoken across the throngs of pilgrims.

The great call, “I was glad when they said unto me,” met with the resounding response, “Let us go into the house of the Lord” (see Psalm 122:1 KJV).

We are here, Jerusalem! Standing within your gates! And all we have heard of this marvelous place is true. You, Jerusalem, our citadel. We pray for your peace. In your peace, we find our own.

The stage is set for the final weeks. Come Sunday, the throngs will wave their palm branches as the Nazarene enters the city on the back of a donkey. The King of kings comes into the great city of kings. Yes! We will agree, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 21:9). Soon we will find ourselves in a second-floor room of an obscure house in the middle of the city, sharing a meal that will be known to all of history as the Last Supper. Who could know that the cosmic drama of redemption would play out in such a way? Behind it all we hear the echo of the Baptist’s voice, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV).

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [the Lamb will cry out,] you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (Luke 13:34).

Irony of ironies: the Peace of Jerusalem, himself, comes into Jerusalem. He will pass through her gates lifted on the accolades of great acclaim; only to be led back through them slammed under the shame of withering scorn.

We are here! Jerusalem! Standing within your very gates!

Maranatha! (Come, O Lord!)

Sing now.

Ask Yourself. Share with Another.

Can you allow this psalm to lead you into the drama of our great history; the story of this tortured city, Jerusalem? Will you stand within the gates of this ancient, cosmic place of God’s mysterious working?

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt


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