Day 358 – Thru the Bible
Today we complete Revelation and the Bible! That deserves some real celebration!
Revelation 21 – The final two chapters of Revelation depict the consummation of the purposes of God in the Gospel. Picking up the whole-Bible motif of marriage, the people of God (represented in the new Jerusalem) are wedded to the Lamb (symbolizing our eternal reconciliation, union, and presence with Jesus).
We also see here the fulfillment of God’s creation agenda. The absence of sea reflects the absence of earthly disorder as was first accomplished by the Holy Spirit. It reminds us not only of the physical elements over which Jesus had power but also of the peace He brought (Mark 4:39). The defeat of death is the good news realized in its fullness, and those who conquer with Jesus are rewarded as Jesus has been rewarded in verse 7. Jesus is now the eternal dwelling place of saved humanity, as the Old Testament tabernacle/temple promises reach their fulfillment (Exodus 29:44–46; Leviticus 26:11–12; 2 Chronicles 6:18).
In these final two chapters of the Bible, then, we see the final restoration and advancement of the creation introduced in the first two chapters of the Bible—only this time without any possibility of sin or its effects entering in, for Satan has been destroyed once and for all!
There is no temple in the new Jerusalem because there is no more need for a building in which humans can meet with God. We will meet with God directly in the Person of the Lamb. When Adam and Eve fell into sin, the corruption of their hearts and our world created separation from our holy God. Throughout history, the tabernacle and then the temple provided microcosmic restorations of the fellowship enjoyed in Eden. In the new earth, we have unhindered access to the fellowship, goodness, and glory of our God (presented here in terms of a new and improved Paradise), for all that is unclean is now outside the new Jerusalem.
All this is because of the Gospel. Jesus was the one clean person to ever walk the face of the earth, but He went to a cross. There He became “unclean” so that we unclean sinners can be fully and finally cleansed, all by grace (2 Corinthians 5:21)!
How does this great news give you hope for you future?
Revelation 22 – We are moved with hope as we reflect on this final prayer for Jesus to come soon to make all things new and to bring His people home. This great gospel of redemption is the hope of the world, and yet in the Bible’s final words we are reminded one final time that it is free for the taking: “let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Isaiah ).
How can this be? The answer is not that God is lenient toward sin or that fallen human beings deserve such grace. The answer is that Jesus Christ, the Lamb, has paid the price on our behalf!
Our robes are made white and we have access to the tree of life eternally because of the provision of our Savior. Though He was the promised root and descendant of David, the bright morning star of an eternal kingdom, Jesus was punished so that we could be delivered. He was forsaken so that we could be befriended. He was cast out so that we could be brought in. All for free to us!
All God asks is that we lay down our insistence on contributing to God’s estimation of our merits and embrace Jesus’ record as our own. Nothing is to be added or subtracted from this message of salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is a message of God’s saving grace in Jesus, whose final glory is yet to come. Thus we pray for Him to come quickly because we love Him, trust Him, and long for the fulfillment of our hope and His glory. He is our great hope and eternal treasure!
Wow! You did it! We’ve gone through the entire Bible.
Now that you’ve seen the entire story, how does it lead you to worship Jesus and experience the fruit of the Gospel in your life?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
All links you need to be a part of this are here – Thru the Bible in 2018.