The New Jerusalem

Jun 2 2023 - Eric Buresh

I’ve heard about these mythical families with kids that like long road trips. While it may exist, this was not the reality in my family when our kids were growing up. We tried the long drive vacation a couple of times, and it was comically disastrous. We quickly became a “get there as fast as possible” family. We focused on the destination and the travel became the price of admission. 

In life, it is good to think about our destination. While the “getting there” is cursedly hard at times (because it actually is a cursed journey), the destination makes the trip worthwhile. The destination brings meaning and value to the trip itself. The destination is our confident Hope that our true home is on the horizon while we are exiles and sojourners in the here and now. Over the last few days, I’ve been journaling about our destination and thinking about our home. This is by no means an exhaustive look, but join me in looking at a few highlights. 

For clarity, I’m skipping past “heaven” and going straight to our final destination at the very end of time as we know it. When the current heavens and earth are no more, and God has made all things new. The New Jerusalem is the term used in the Bible to describe the heavenly city where we, as God's people, will dwell with Him in the new heavens and new earth. When Jesus said, “in my Father’s house are many mansions,” (John 14:2) I visualize the New Jerusalem. According to Revelation 21, the New Jerusalem is a massive city, 1,400 miles long, wide, and high, with walls made of jasper and gates made of pearls. There are streets of pure gold, and the foundation of the walls is made of precious stones. The river of life flows from the throne of God, and on either side of the river, there is the tree of life, which bears fruit continually. 

The city has no temple because God and the Lamb are its temple, and its light is the glory of God. There is no need for the sun or the moon because the glory of God illuminates the city. Revelation 22 goes on to reveal there will be no more curse in the city, and we will see His face and reign with Him forever. To be able to survive in God’s literal presence, we will need new transformed and glorified bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 tells us: "So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." Our resurrected bodies will be imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual! We will be perfectly suited for eternal life in the New Jerusalem. Our bodies will be free from sin, sickness, and death! 

God "will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4) We will hear from our great Lord and Savior, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21) And we will enjoy sweet fellowship with “a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the throne and before the Lamb, worshiping and praising God.” (Revelation7:9-10) I want my love for God in Christ to grow and I want to shine for His glory for as long as He has me on this journey, but my heart longs for home where I will be with Him in fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)