Because he lives, we can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because we know who holds the future—and we get a glimpse of it in Revelation 21!
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls says to John, “‘Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God” (Rev 21:9-11). Although the New Jerusalem is a real city, it’s glory far surpasses the language John uses to portray it. What he sees is “like” something familiar to him. It’s “radiance was like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal … pure gold, like clear glass” (21:18-20).
Words can’t capture the indescribable. But we get a glimpse.
“It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates” with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and the names of the twelve apostles to accentuate the eternal security and unity of God’s people (Rev 21:9-14). Each gate, made of a single pearl, will never shut (21:21, 25). The city’s four-cornered shape is perfectly designed to accommodate the “great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (21:15-17; 7:9). There is no temple, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb permeate all facets of life in this new world (21:22). “The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God” is the city’s life force—not the sun or moon (21:23; cf. Isa 60:19).
An enormous city, a perfect cube, pulsating with glory is beyond comprehension, beyond imagination. But we get a glimpse.
We “will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations” (Rev 21:24). What will we bring? What could possibly be redeemed, sanctified, and incorporated into resurrection reality?
I love Matthew Erickson’s thoughts on this: “Parts of my life are so gut-wrenchingly awful that I cannot imagine how they could be a part of my life in the New Jerusalem. But through the forge of death, resurrection makes all things new. When we point to a hope in heaven, we tell people, ‘Hold on, and you can make it.’ When we point to the promises of New Jerusalem, we proclaim, ‘Live your life to the fullest for the kingdom of God, because who you are and what you do matters today, tomorrow, and for all eternity.’”
Because he lives, we are the glimpse. Happy Easter, friends.