Light of the World: Day Twenty-One
The Light of the New Jerusalem
Read Revelation 21:22-25
Over the last 21 days we’ve gone through this Advent devotion focusing on Jesus as the light of the world. Now, we reach the culmination of our devotion on Christmas Day; but unlike most advent devotions that may spend the final day focusing on Christ’s first advent, we are going to look at his second.
We spent much time throughout the last 21 days in the Gospel of John but today, we are turning to the last book of the Bible, Revelation. Revelation was also written by the Apostle John and it is his record of all he saw during the vision God gave him regarding the end times. At the very end of the book, John sees that God will make all things new: there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1-8) and a New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-23).
In what was probably shocking to the Apostle, John notes that there is no temple in the city because God is dwelling in and amongst his people. While believers now live with the third member of the trinity dwelling inside them, in eternity, we will be with the Lord forever.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Thus, there is no need for a temple. The temple was merely for the purpose of God’s dwelling among a sinful people. However, access to him was mitigated by sacrifices and the curtain restricting access to the holy of holies. In the New Jerusalem all the citizens have been washed whiter than snow and will have received a glorified body, thus, God can dwell with his people.
In another shocking realization, John notes that there are no heavenly lights shining upon the city for Jesus (the Lamb) is the light of the New Jerusalem. The glory of Jesus will shine so brightly, it provides enough light for the nations of the New Jerusalem to live by. And since there will be no rising and setting the sun, the Son of God will provide light at all times. There will be no night. Isaiah also prophesied about these things.
The sun shall be no more
your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon
give you light;
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down,
nor your moon withdraw itself;
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of mourning shall be ended.
Jesus is preparing for us an eternal dwelling place that is unimaginably beautiful and free of sorrow, pain, sin, and death. It was his first advent that made a way for us to spend this incredible eternity with him.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new. Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Just as God was faithful to fulfill his promises of the gospel and the Abrahamic Covenant, he will be faithful to bring about these glorious realities. At Jesus’ first advent he came as the spiritual light of the world, but at his second advent he will come and be the literal light of the world. As you celebrate Christmas today and remember Jesus’ first coming, may you look up from the manger and see the New Jerusalem on the horizon. The days are short and his return is near. Let your light shine today with the hope of his return.
On the first day of this devotional, we looked at the first words recorded of God in the Bible. On this last day, it seems fitting to look at his last recorded words:
Surely I am coming soon.
He has come once, he will come again. Yes, maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.
Action Point: As you celebrate Christmas today praise God that his first advent has made a way for you to joyously anticipate his second.