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Revelation 21:1-27



Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”


He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

(verses 1-5)

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“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.”


After all the evil played out on earth at the hands of Satan, the beast, the false prophet and all their followers, and after the hostility and persecution visited on the followers of the Lamb, and after the outpouring of God’s wrath in plague upon plague and the final fire-fall from heaven wreaking destruction on all God’s enemies, what relief that everything is made new! The old has gone – the new has come. Everything is purified and cleansed and fully refreshed. Praise the Lord.


I think the little note, “there was no longer any sea,” wraps this all up symbolically, in that the sea, in Hebrew thought, was the place of chaos and evil. None of that now exists in this new creation. All is set right. All now expresses God’s good, creative order.


In this context, the renewed and redeemed people of God are ushered in, being welcomed in procession like a bride on her wedding day, all eyes on her, especially those of the Groom. She is “dressed for her husband,” communicating her purity and dazzling glory, but also her purposeful focus on the Lover of her Soul, the glorified Lord Jesus himself. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul celebrated in Ephesians 5 as he instructed husbands and wives about the earthly marriage relationship, but kept interrupting himself to say that he was really thinking about Christ and the church. Now, here it is in all its glory.


The overlapping images – Bride, Holy City, new Jerusalem – communicate the centrality of this moment, with all heaven holding its breath, as it were, as the centre-piece of Creation comes into its own, glorified and fully embraced by the Lord. The Lamb who was slain now has his reward. What wonder – we ourselves, redeemed by his sacrifice, are the very ones he has set his heart upon.


Now the original purpose of all Creation is brought into fulfilment. The Lord himself will be with his people – for all time, forever – living with them (like husband with wife), making his dwelling among them (better than his Temple-presence in Jerusalem of old), and being their God. What glory.


And everything now is set to rights. No more death. Nor more mourning. No more crying or pain, sickness or poverty, frustration or discouragement, loneliness or abandonment. The old is gone, the new has come.


The Lord himself declares, “I am making everything new!” With all our hearts we say, “Yes!”

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Praise you, Lord Jesus. You are the Triumphant One, the Victorious Lamb. You will welcome us fully into your presence for all eternity, fully embraced in your love, never to be separated. What hope. What glory. Thank you, with all our hearts.

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Reflect:

Looking ahead to that great day, take some time to simply bask in the wonder. Give thanks to the Victorious Lord. Know afresh his abounding love. Give him praise.

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Photo by Timothée Pons on Unsplash


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