Rev. 21:1-5; 22:1-5
As I’ve mentioned before, Genesis 3 is one of the most heartbreaking passages in all the Bible, but it’s necessary to read. It’s virtually impossible to understand the world in which we find ourselves without knowing, understanding, and believing it. At the end of the chapter, the Lord exiled Adam and Eve from the garden, which was more than a geographical place. It also represented God’s intimate presence and all that affords: peace, harmony, and eternal life. Outside was strife, futile hard work, and ultimately death. Why? Again, he’s the source of all life, so being separated from him would be like being separated from the sun and wondering why it’s getting cold.
But in the last two chapters of the Bible, we see an absolute reversal of the curse. In Genesis 3 we had the introduction of crying, pain, suffering, and strife between people. An angel was stationed at the entrance to the garden to make sure no one approached the Tree of Life, so death was an inevitability. In today’s reading there’s no guardian to bar our way: It’s open and free to all. And best of all is the reversal of our separation from God. The root of all our problems--sin--will be removed, and with it any reason why we have to be shielded from our Father. Moses pled with God to see his glory face-to-face, and the Lord rejected his request, because no one could see him and live. It would be like ground-zero of a nuclear blast. But here, Moses’ (and our) greatest desire is granted. We won't have to stand apart from him—instead, we’ll bask in his presence like a warm spring day after the ravages of a long winter.
There are a lot of questions about our final home and what we can expect. “Will my puppy dog be there?” “What will we be doing all day?” “How literal should we interpret this or that passage?” Some of them we can take a stab at, and others are open for a lot of debate. If we needed to know something for sure, then the Bible would tell us.
The last chapter of The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis affords us some perspective. The children and the talking animals just watched their beloved Narnia completely destroyed as they stood watching through an open door. After tearfully viewing the death of their world, they turned around and started exploring the strange new land to which Aslan (representing Christ) brought them. They noticed that the grass was somehow “more like grass” and the sky was bluer than what they'd ever seen. They start remarking how this new land is like Narnia, but “more like the real thing.” A unicorn summed it up for them: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this!”
Father God, I'm watching as you’re in the process of making all things new, both in this world and in my life. I can’t wait to see the finished product. Please let it be soon.