In between all the events that I have shared with you in the last couple of weeks, one more thing happened – a historical one. I am so glad I attended it.
Reuven and Benjamin Berger are two brothers, who pastor a Messianic congregation in Jerusalem. For nearly a decade they prayed about the need of the messianic body to repent on behalf of our nation, and especially for rejecting Yeshua. Finally, this year, they called a special meeting during the fast of Esther.
Repentance in small groups
We are so used to nations asking our forgiveness for their part in hiding His Jewishness from us. But the time has come for us to own our part and repent of the choices we made ourselves.
Pastors and believers gathered at the beautiful Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem. As worship began, my tears started flowing. The first song was “Aveenu, Malkenu” – Our Father, our King. It begs for the remission of sins, confessing that we have no deeds we can pride with. This song has been sung in synagogues for centuries. It echoed within me as if something ancient was waking up, like this prayer-song was calling up something that has been dormant for ages and is now paving its way out. I can’t really explain it in any other way.
The beautiful stained glass windows of Christ Church in Jerusalem,
the first Protestant church built in the Middle East in modern days
It was so different than the usual worship – it was some kind of a combination between synagogue music and something else. A cry, a lamentation, a plea for forgiveness.
Reuven than stood and explained how he sees our sins towards Yeshua. He spoke about some points I never thought of before: about the covenant we have made with death when we rejected the Way, the Truth and the Life. About how we drove the Son outside the vineyard (Mat. 21:38-39). In a way, nothing new, but something in the language of all these verses was highlighted to me. And we were all so ready to mourn.
Than the pastors attending were called up front. One by one they approached the mike and repented, each one for whatever was on his heart. Some wept, and some confessed, “Lord, our nation is rebellious and we have acted very wickedly towards You”. One pastor sounded like his heart would burst. Another buried his face and asked forgiveness for our pride.
Then a few women were invited to repent as well. One lady from an orthodox background shared how her mouth was rinsed with soap when she was a child, whenever she dared to say the J-word. She asked forgiveness for the way Yeshua’s name has become a curse in our nation. I repented on behalf of the widow who refuses to see her Husband for who He really is, for not thinking He understands our needs, for not wanting to see His Jewish Face.
A humble Arab pastor from Abu Gosh was then invited to the front. He sobbed in identification with his Jewish brothers, affirming that the land belongs to us and thanking God for us allowing them (the Arabs) to live in Israel. Can you believe that?
Pastor Yaser from Abu Gosh
Benjamin led us all in communion. As we were chewing on the round flat loaf and drinking the sweet wine, one leader commented that we should reverse the curse we brought upon ourselves centuries ago, when we cried in Pilate’s court: “His blood on our heads and on our sons’ ”, and thus bringing a horrible curse upon our nation. This leader stated that it is time to welcome His blood on our heads and on our future generations, not as a curse, but as the only thing that can cleanse us from that ancient curse and its ramifications. “Aveenu, Malkenu, wash the curse away, we beg You! And let it become a blessing”.
A fine common line in between recent events
I look at the events I shared with you recently, and I find a thread that runs through all of them all the way back to the Battle Cries that were heard on October 31 [Cooo-eee! In Those Days, At This Time]
100 years ago, on October 31, the ANZAC soldiers paved the way for General Alenby to march all the way to Jerusalem. Where did he enter Jerusalem? On Jaffa Gate. A few months ago the same battle cry was heard in the same location, inviting Yeshua to come back to His people. Two weeks ago leaders gathered to repent for rejecting Him for centuries. Where did the repentance take place? At Jaffa Gate.
Interesting, to say the least!