Revelation 21:1-27, 1 Corinthians 15:42-49, Colossians 3:1-4
Do you watch Jeopardy? You know, it’s the quiz show where the answer is provided, and the contestant’s job is to guess the question. Let’s play.
Answer: “Then the one seated on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new’” (Revelation 21:5).
Question: What has the entire story of Scripture been building up to since the garden of Eden and the fall of man?
This might just be my favorite verse in the entire Bible, when John writes about the loud voice he hears from the throne of heaven proclaiming the renewal of all things. When the One seated on the throne—the risen Jesus—says that He is making all things new, He is addressing the undoing of all that was lost when our first parents turned away from God in Eden. He is proclaiming the reach of His redemptive work. He is celebrating the power He alone wields. And He is giving those who believe in Him the greatest assurance we could ever hope to hear—that every struggle, weakness, grief, and cause for suffering will be done away with, once and forever.
I read an article the other day where a seminary president said it wasn’t necessary to believe in a literal bodily resurrection, and that the purpose of Easter was to inspire us all to be better people to one another. What an empty take on the finished work of Christ. And what a tragic omission of the testimony of Scripture. John’s vision in Revelation is far from metaphorical. Sure, some of the imagery carries metaphorical meaning, but the end of the story is anything but metaphor. Everything will be made new. The old order of things will pass away. Forever. For real.
One of the marks of this new creation will be the presence of Christ Himself in the middle of it all. He will be the light, the ruler, the King. This will not be a metaphorical presence, but the most vivid, actual, tangible presence any of us has ever known. How it will all work is veiled in mystery, but what the book of Revelation labors to make plain is that when Christ ushers in His eternal kingdom, it will be real, eternal, glorious, and perfect.
And it will be the perfect conclusion to the unfolding drama of the human story—the fall of humanity undone by the finished work of Christ. On that day, all of God’s people will be restored to face-to-face relationship with our Creator God, the one we were meant to know and enjoy forever. This is what’s coming. To God be the glory.
Written by Russ Ramsey