Reading For Friday Revelation 21:1-22:21
John sees a most amazing sight. He has a vision of the new creation—a new heaven and earth. The sea is gone, but there is a new heaven and a new earth. The new Jerusalem is a gift that comes from God out of heaven. God's plan from the beginning was to be with his people. However, sin had prevented that reality but in the new Jerusalem he will dwell with his people and this new place will be different from everything that we have experienced. Jesus shared our life so that we might share his life in heaven. God declares from his throne that all things have been created anew, and all who are thirsty may come and drink deeply from the spring of the water of life. God welcomes all that have remained faithful, but all those who have willfully walked in an ongoing pattern of evil and disobedience have no place in heaven.
John is led to a high mountain where he sees the holy city in greater detail. It is radiant, with beauty and clarity of light typical of jewels and crystal. John describes it as a cube that is 1,400 miles long and wide and high. There are twelve gates inscribed with the names of the tribes of Israel and twelve foundations bearing the names of the apostles. Jesus has reconciled people to God, so there is no need for any sacrifice. The new Jerusalem has no need of the sun and moon because the glory of God is light and life. The river of life flows from God’s throne and throughout the new Jerusalem. On the banks of the river grows the tree of life which will be enjoyed because the work of salvation is completed. The leaves of the tree are to be used for the healing of the nations. The thing that will make heaven such a beautiful place will be the face of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we never forget that the face of Jesus in glory will be a human face. Jesus has forever taken a body to himself when he added our humanity to his deity in the incarnation.
The angel then speaks to John about the nature of this revelation. It is faithful and true. It is reliable and accurate. God guarantees this revelation. Jesus explains that he is coming soon. John is so overwhelmed by the revelation and the sights that he falls down to worship, and the angel corrects this explaining that we are to worship God alone. John is told not to seal up these words because the time is near. Evil will continue, but it is on borrowed time. The Spirit of God and the bride of Christ invite the sinner to come and drink of the water of life. The only condition is to come thirsty for God. God’s message of salvation is found in the Bible, and it must not be tampered with in any way. Any alteration will bring a curse. Jesus is coming again, and he is coming soon.
Things To Consider:
- When has God dwelled with his people before? (You should come up with several)
- Why is sorrow absent in heaven?
- What is the root of sorrow?
- What makes heaven so beautiful?
- Are you excited about seeing Jesus? Why or why not?
- Where does the light in heaven originate?
- How is our relationship to the tree of life different?
- Do you think of Christ's imminent return? Why or why not?
- What does the waiting consist of (verse 11)?
- Why do our deeds matter?
- Why must scripture be treasured?
- Are you ready for Jesus to return? Why or why not?
- Are you excited about Jesus' return? Why or why not?