Razing of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Pastor Chuck Baldwin
On the eve of His crucifixion at the belligerent behest of the Pharisees and Jews, the Lord Jesus Christ pronounced this prophecy upon the city of Jerusalem:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (Matthew 23:37, 38 KJV)
Our Lord then spent the next chapter of Matthew’s Gospel (chapter 24) giving His disciples many of the details relating to Jerusalem’s impending destruction—which took place 37 years later exactly as He had predicted.
Sunday, September 8, marks the anniversary of the conclusion of that great and final destruction prophesied by Jesus and fulfilled in 70 AD.
The destruction of Jerusalem is one of the most significant events in world history. It is no hyperbole to say that the destruction of Jerusalem is doubtless the single most terrifying episode in the annals of military conquest. Between one and two million Jews lost their lives in this horrific Roman siege. There’s really nothing in human history that compares with the total and absolute devastation and annihilation—and pure horror—that took place in Jerusalem that year. Not to mention the continued devastation and destruction of Jerusalem that took place under subsequent Roman emperors, especially Hadrian.
The destruction of Jerusalem is also one of the most prophesied events in Holy Scripture. Scores of prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments (including Matthew 24) point to the destruction of Jerusalem. Sadly, these prophecies are almost universally ignored by modern pastors and Christians—or totally misapplied. In either case, the vast majority of Christians know next to nothing of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Israel’s Old Testament prophets repeatedly foretold the destruction of Jerusalem. Read Jeremiah 19, for example. When John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness, he predicted the destruction of Jerusalem alongside his introduction of the Messiah.
The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD marked the final end to the Jewish dispensation—along with its temple, its sacrifices, its city and its religion—and served as a mighty and miraculous introduction to the New, Better and Everlasting Covenant that Christ has given to all men through His death and resurrection.
God intended that the destruction of Jerusalem would serve as a monumentally important and eternal lesson for the Church. And for 1,800 years this lesson was clearly understood by Christians.
Today, however, the great lessons that God taught through the destruction of Jerusalem have been almost universally lost by twentieth century—and now twenty-first century—Christians. The lack of knowledge and understanding about the destruction of Jerusalem is a sign of the great “falling away” that has taken place in the Church over the past one hundred years.
I am marking the anniversary of Jerusalem’s annihilation by offering the definitive book on the subject, The Destruction Of Jerusalem, written by British parliamentarian George Peter Holford in 1805. He describes the background, context and siege itself with vivid detail.
Drawing from the eyewitness testimonies of the great Jewish historian Josephus and others, Holford paints a literary picture of the destruction of Jerusalem that the reader will never forget. The subtitle of the book is An Absolute And Irresistible Proof Of The Divine Origin Of Christianity. And that’s exactly what the destruction of Jerusalem does: It provides an absolute proof of the divine origin of Christianity.