The Preparatory Role of Jerusalem

"Jerusalem and its Temple were always destined to be eclipsed by the revelation of the Messiah and his inauguration of the new covenant. Just as Paul saw the Torah as designed to point the way towards Christ (Gal. 3:24), so too Jerusalem's role was inherently preparatory. When the one came who would offer himself outside its walls as a sacrifice for sin, its sacrificial system would not be required. When the one came who would embody the incarnate presence of God, the true shekinah presence, then the Temple as the previous focused location of the divine name would need to be laid aside. When the Spirit came, Jerusalem's role as witnessing to the presence of God in the midst of his people would no longer be necessary. When the time came that the gospel could go out 'to all nations', then the previous particularity associated with Jerusalem would need to give way. When Gentiles could at last enter  the 'people of God', then the necessary distinction between Jew and Gentile emblazoned within the Temple would have to be 'broken down'. Finally, when the full revelation of God in Christ was made known and the glories of his heavenly Jerusalem could be glimpsed, then the previous symbolic role of Jerusalem as encapsulating God's final purpose for his world could be seen to have truly fulfilled its purpose."

-P.W.L. Walker, Jesus and the Holy City, 314-15