Jews have prayed at the Western Wall for 2000 years, believing that that spot has greater holiness than any other accessible place on Earth, or the fourth holiest overall, after the Holy of Holies, the rest of the Temple area, and the Courtyard, and that God is nearby listening to their prayers.
Included in the thrice daily Jewish prayers are fervent pleas that:
- God return to the Land of Israel
- Ingather all the Jewish exiles
- Rebuild the Third Temple
- Bring the messianic era with the arrival of Jewish Messiah.
The Western Wall is holy to the Jewish people because this wall is part of a wall that encompasses the Temple Mount along with the southern and eastern sections.
This encompassing wall is thought to be the only remnant of the Temple in Jerusalem and the closest site to the "Holy of Holies", the most holy site in Judaism.
Of the three wall sections, eastern, southern and western, the western is the traditional site of prayer.
However, under the New Covenant, one place is not holier than another – even the Western Wall:
Mark 15:37-38: “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. 38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Two remarkable events occurred at His death: there was an earthquake (Matt. 27:51), and the veil in the temple was torn in two.
The veil had separated man from God, but now, through His death, Jesus had opened for the whole world a “new and living way.”
It was a sign that Jesus’ death ended the need for repeated sacrifices for sins, and opened a new and living way of free and direct access to God.
We now draw near to God! Communion is a time to draw near and remember Jesus’ works on our behalf – what Jesus did for us on the cross – making it possible to have direct access to God.
Heb 10:1: “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-- not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.”
Hebrews 10:22: “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”