Take me to the most glorious place on earth and I can promise you this: at some point I will long to go back home.
One of the realities we celebrate when we think about the implications of Jesus’ resurrection is how all things will be made new. In Scripture, we read about how there will be a new heavens and a new earth, and how we will have glorified bodies.
Perhaps you’ve wondered, as I have, if this means that in the life to come we’ll have the wisdom of the aged, bodies of 21 year olds, the metabolism of 12 year olds, and the energy of children. It can be fun to try to imagine what our eternal destiny as the children of God will be like—the geography, the city of God, our glorified bodies, and the sweetness of a “New Earth” sun-ripened peach.
But we make a mistake if we think of our eternal destiny like a vacation at the beach rather than our home.
A number of years ago, my parents moved from the Midwest to an island on the Atlantic coast. At least once a year my wife and I load the kids into the car and drive out for a week with my folks on the beach—a glorious, relaxing, and funky-smelling magical land of sunburned noses, fresh seafood, playful dolphins, and moonlit beach walks.
But guess what happens after we’ve been there for a while? We start to feel a hunger for home. For all the beauty, fun, and relaxation the beach has to offer, the place itself cannot capture our hearts the way home has. Why is this? Because home isn’t just where we keep our things. It is where we experience life. Our friends are there. Our work. Our church. And so also our struggles. Our worries. Our routines.
Home is where we belong. Home is where we see the flaws in our friends and the cracks in our city’s foundation. It is where we wound each other and then consider whether or not to circle back and pursue healing. This side of glory, home is the place where people most clearly see what Paul describes as my corruption, dishonor, and weakness (1 Cor. 15:42-43). In other words, my home is where people most clearly see me as I really am.
But today’s passages remind us that just as heaven and earth will be made new, so will we be made new. This is our eternal destiny. The life to come will not be an extended vacation in a place that is not our home. We will belong in a way unlike anything we have ever known.
This is one of the most glorious implications of the resurrection of Jesus: we whose lives are joined to Him in His death and resurrection will ourselves be changed—in such a way that we will be a perfect match for all the glory the new heavens and new earth call for.
Just as heaven and earth will be made new—so will we. Not just our bodies, but our hearts and perspectives too. If our faith is in Christ, this is our eternal destiny. We will not be tourists in God’s eternal glory—but residents. We will be home.
Written By Russ Ramsey