Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Whole New World

In the Disney classic, Aladdin, a magic carpet ride to win the heart of the beautiful princess, Jasmine, results in seeing a whole new world. For those of us who have put our faith in Jesus, we will one day take a similar journey without the need of a 6-cylander carpet. Our journey will also show us a whole new world…a World of Wonder!

Revelation 21 and 22 tell us of a celestial city in which we will live for all of eternity. The Bible calls this city the New Jerusalem. We commonly refer to it as heaven. Looking at this description of this World of Wonder is like looking at one piece of a jigsaw puzzle. As wonderful as it sounds, we really are only seeing a small piece of what this place is going to be like. This city is so beautiful that John used the word picture of a bride to describe it. It came from God showing that He is the designer of this city. It is a place where the physical presence of God dwells and where all tears, pain, sorrow and death are non-existent. It will be located on a new heaven and a new earth that is one of far better quality than the one we live on today. Below are a few more details of this city that we could easily give the tagline, “The Ultimate in Everything!”

Its Lighting (21:11) - The source of light in this city is God’s glory. The glory of God is the sum total of His attributes and is manifested as blazing light. It is described as jasper. This does not refer to the modern stone but rather to a diamond showing its brilliance. It is described as crystal showing that it is deeply penetrating and perfect like a flawless diamond. In the Bible God’s glory is always associated with light (see Rev 21:23; 22:5).

Its Wall (21:12-14) – There is a wall around this city that shows the exclusion of sin. In this wall there are 12 gates…three on each side which is reminiscent of the way the twelve tribes camped around the tabernacle as seen in Numbers 2. This shows us that it is possible to go in and out of the city (see 21:25). 12 is also the number of completeness with an angelic honor guard at each gate. Each of these 12 gates contains the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel showing the presence of Old Testament Saints in the city. There are also 12 foundations to this wall with each foundation representing one of the 12 Apostles. This shows the presence of New Testament Saints in the city

Its Dimensions (21:15-17) – This city is in the shape of a cube or possibly a pyramid. The city is as wide as it is long as it is high. Each length is 1500 miles (1500 X 1500 X 1500). To give you an idea as to the immense size that is, it would be a city as wide as the distance from about New York to Denver and as long as it is from Canada down to Florida. This equals 2,250,000 square miles. Just the bottom floor of this city could easily accommodate the entire present world population (about 6.8 billion people). The city itself could populate 30 times the present world population. The wall around this city that we mentioned earlier stands at 72 yards (216 feet) high. Now think about it. A 216 feet high wall around a 1500 mile high city would be like a one inch curb around the Empire State Building. It is obvious that this wall is meant for beauty, not protection.

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