Pastor's Note - August 26
Often in staff meetings on Monday, we will begin by discussing a passage of Scripture. Not a serious Bible study – just reading and discussing what jumps out at us. Recently, we have been reading Revelation; and Monday’s passage was Revelation 21. I love that passage, as it is the climactic fulfillment of every redemptive promise of God throughout Scripture. And it’s wrapped in apocalyptic language, which just adds to the mystery and intrigue. I recommend reading it now. Here are some things that jumped out to me/us on Monday, in no particular order. 1) The New Jerusalem is described as a bride and as a city. So is it a people or a place? It’s both! God’s promises are fulfilled in His Church, placed in His new Creation. 2) All throughout Scripture, a basic covenantal promise of God is that He will dwell with His people. It’s a promise of intimate relationship, without any hindrance of sin. That is ubiquitous promise in Scripture is here fulfilled. 3) The sea is no more. The “sea” was a metaphor for chaos (from which the beast arose earlier in Revelation). So, in other words, chaos will be no more. Amen. 4) The spring of life can be had without payment – it’s a free offer to us. 5) See the sober warning of verse 8. Not all enter into eternal perfection. Those defined by unrepentant sin are excluded. 5) The dimensions of the city are absurd. 12,000 stadia would be about 1300-1400 miles. That’s tall. Too tall to be an actual “city.” It’s a metaphor. And it represents a perfectly dimensioned, gloriously large people and place. 6) The city is a cube. So is the holy of holies in the temple. There is a connection there. This is the holy place where God dwell. Only now His dwelling fills creation, and all the New Creation is perfectly holy. 7) See verse 12 and 14. The names of the tribes and the twelve apostles adorn the city and its walls. Meaning, the full people of God for all time are incorporated. 8) A bunch of gem stones are named in describing the city. I have no idea what some of these are or what they would look like. I don’t think we’re supposed to. The point is that it will be beautiful beyond our power to describe. 9) It has very high walls around it, but its gates are always open (which would defeat the purpose of the high walls). Those images combined indicate that this place is perfectly secure, and there is no real threat. 10) Kings and nations will participate and enter into this city. God is building a people from every tribe and nation. This is a glorious future before us, God’s church. When life on earth is chaotic and even bringing despair, Revelation 21 reminds us of where this is all headed for us as people redeemed by the Lord.