Monday, July 25, 2005
The New Jerusalem
The misrepresentation of the Holy City, New Jerusalem, as our final eternal home is so engrained in us by our misguided Christian cultures that it is hard to pull away from it. Help me as we read with our eyes open and discover what John is actually describing.
“Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb,” says verse 9. “He showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,” says verse 10. This glorious city is not a place, not our future residence. It is the bride herself. Wow! How long has that been in the Bible?
This city is a description of the church of Jesus Christ, with the gold and jewels symbolically portraying its beauty, value, and endurance. The apostolic foundation stones reflect the authority the church is built on, while the patriarchal gates show the Biblical entrance into it. The cubic dimensions symbolize the perfection and completeness of its makeup. The divine presence (instead of a temple) demonstrates the fulfillment of God’s ages-long purpose to live with his people and be their God. Though the city sheds its light to the nations, only those written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter.
Is it possible for us, surrounded as we are by so many references to the Holy City as a “where,” to really think of it as a “who”? Only if we read with our eyes open and redraw the mental pictures we were given.
By the way, I think it is the Jehovah Witness group that claims to be the fulfillment of the 144,000 of Revelation.