The Sharia of Christ in the GOSPEL
F - Commandments of Christ related to our Duties towards God (WORSHIP)
6. PILGRIMAGE IN THE GOSPELS
The Children of Jacob believe that the Lord was present on the atonement cover of the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the two tablets of the Law of Moses. In that place, individuals, the priests, and even the whole nation were reconciled with God in the temple through innumerable sacrifices. The Ark of the Covenant was placed in Shiloh after the 40 years’ wandering of the nation in the wilderness. The Philistines attacked Shiloh and the Ark of the Covenant fell into their hands as booty (1 Samuel 4). But later they sent it back to Israel. It was brought first to Bethshemesh. There the Ark remained neglected for years, until king David brought it to Jerusalem around B.C. 1000 (2 Samuel 6). Since that day, the Ark has become the center of worship of the people of the Old Testament. The children of the nation raced from everywhere on their feasts such as the Passover, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Day of Tabernacles to receive power, protection, and guidance from the Lord of the Covenant, and to confirm their commitment to the Law of Moses. They had to cancel all other centers of sacrifices among the people.
In the time of Jesus, devout Jewish families customarily attended the Passover at Jerusalem. Jesus, being twelve years old, was approaching the normal age for being initiated into Judaism. So he went up with his parents, on their Jewish pilgrimage, to Jerusalem, and kept the Passover at Jerusalem yearly. The first place we find him in at Jerusalem was the temple, where he taught his new law, healed the sick, and announced the coming of the kingdom of God.
Jesus was in himself the completion of the Passover. Even the apostle Paul observed the rules of the Jewish pilgrimage (Acts 20:16; 21:24-26). But when Jesus had taken away the sins of the world, and reconciled his believers with God the Father, and after the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the church of Christ, all the requirements and conditions of this pilgrimage became invalid. Stephen declared that God does not dwell in temples made with hands, but he dwells in the hearts of his saints, for they are the temple of God in all times and places. The reconciliation was effected on the cross, and God appeared everywhere in the hearts of those who loved Jesus (John 4:21-24). The unity of Christians is effected in all parts of the earth, wherever the Holy Spirit dwells in those who believe in their Savior. Therefore, there is no necessity, in the New Testament, for any pilgrimage, ceremonial processions, or ecumenical organization of any kind, for Christ is the head of his church, and we are his spiritual body. We are not in need of any geographical position to go to, for he is present with us everywhere. He is the beginning and the end. In his second coming, all will hasten to him in the true pilgrimage. He who believes in him will see the glory of God, as is stated: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)