And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21:22-23)In the message this past Sunday, David talked about the New Jerusalem, the city of God, described as a perfect, brilliant, beautiful city in Revelation 21. He mentioned several aspects of the city, including that it would be reflective, it would be protected, and it would be open. It's a huge city- 12,000 stadia long, with a height and width of the same length. A perfect cube.
12,000 stadia is about 1,380 miles; a stadion was about 607 feet. That's actually quite huge. I mean, the diameter of Pluto is roughly 1,430 miles. Can you imagine if a city the size of Pluto came down out of the sky, a city covered with jewels and made of gold? I mean, I get teared up when I see a really beautiful old building with ornate carvings and gold filigree. I can't even begin to picture an entire city covered in jewels.
It's beyond our imaginings, and that's one of the points that David made. Revelation is a vision, steeped in symbols and metaphors. Because nothing can fully prepare us for the glory that awaits us in heaven. Revelation is not just a picture of Jesus, but a picture of our future with Jesus, and being the bride of Christ is a future that is too wonderful for us to fully take in.
We're nearing the end of our series on Revelation, and we've covered a lot. I think, though, the thing that I've taken away the most, though, is that Revelation, as a picture of Jesus, as a picture of our future with Jesus, is an encouragement for our present time.
Take, for example, Revelation 21:23: "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp."
In the future, there will be no darkness, because God itself will be our light. More than that, God will shine through us, because we will reflect His image fully and beautifully. So, for now, secure in that, we can be lights in the current darkness. Like the stars, each with its own light, given to it by the Creator. Or like the moon, which reflects the sun so brilliantly that we can see by its light at night.
If you haven't read through Revelation or listened to the messages on it, I would encourage you to take some time to work your way through it. Revelation 1:3 states that, "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near." As you go through the series, you might meditate on these things:
1. What has God already done for you in your life?
2. What has God promised you for your future?
3. What is God asking you to do right now?