Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Of all the grand descriptions in the book of Revelation, this vision of what will be our ultimate eternal destiny is most compelling. God is remaking the universe. He is doing something both new and the same. There is a heaven. There is an earth. And this time the physical planet will also be His physical dwelling place in a place of His design: The New Jerusalem. It is called a “holy city” that is “from God” and “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband”.
We know that this will be such a remarkable place that it will be uniquely associated with God’s people. The New Jerusalem is called “the wife of the Lamb” in Revelation 21:9. Then the rest of the chapter goes into detail on its measurements and glorious construction. Somehow this beautiful final city is also the unique abode of all believers. It is where my heart will find its final home. That is why it is a holy city. It is the dwelling place of God and it is the dwelling place of His holy people. One cannot help but wonder if that was what God hoped for in the Garden of Eden all along. That at some point He would work with Adam and Eve and their descendants in the construction of just such a place.
The origin of the New Jerusalem is “from God”. It comes to the earth from heaven. Jesus Himself promised to “go and prepare a place” for us and come and bring us to Himself. That will find its complete fulfillment in the arrival of the New Jerusalem. And I think He is already preparing that place for us even now.
And the city is festive. It is prepared for a wedding of the Lamb to His Bride. It will be the place where we will share our lives forever with Jesus. And it will be a place of joy, intimacy, shared life, and joy and fulfillment that we can only now barely comprehend in our redeemed fallen natures. But when we are as a race fully holy, this experience will be more thrilling than we can ever imagine. My heart quickens just a little thinking about it now. It is what my deepest hopes want to see.