Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 24:7-10; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40.
Those who have been to the Holy Land often come back to report a surprise: it is so very small. Especially Jerusalem. No matter how many Bible maps you may consult, one is hardly prepared for the discovery that the “old city” of Jerusalem — the very center of the drama of human history — is little more than three thousand feet from wall to wall. Here is the Golden Gate of the Palm Sunday entrance; a few minutes’ walk and one stands at the place of judgment where Jesus was handed over to be crucified; then it is but a short stroll to the place of crucifixion. Over there to your right, just a short hop across the Kidron Valley, is the Mount of Olives. A few hundred yards away is the wall of the great temple, the “Wailing Wall.” If you wish to go to Bethlehem, it is but a five-minute taxi ride. It does not seem to matter, visitors say, whether scholars,…