The little boy excitedly ripped open a big box from his serviceman daddy, whom he believed wouldn’t be home to celebrate his birthday. Inside that box was yet another giftwrapped box, and inside that box was another that simply held a piece of paper saying, “Surprise!” Confused, the boy looked up—just as his dad entered the room. Tearfully the son leapt into his father’s arms, exclaiming, “Daddy, I missed you” and “I love you!”
That tearful yet joyful reunion captures the heart ofRevelation 21’s description of the glorious moment when God’s children see their loving Father face to face—in the fully renewed and restored creation. There, “[God] will wipe every tear from [our] eyes.” No longer will we experience pain or sorrow, because we’ll be with our heavenly Father. As the “loud voice” in Revelation 21 declares, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them” (vv. 3–4).
There’s a tender love and joy that followers of Jesus already enjoy with God, as 1 Peter 1:8describes: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”Yet imagine our incredible, overflowing joy when we see the one we’ve loved and longed for welcoming us into His open arms!
211Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.4‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.7Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
What do you most look forward to about life in God’s presence in the restored creation?
How do you experience glimpses of that joy now?
Revelation 21:1–7gives us a glimpse of our life in eternity. While it’s of great comfort knowing there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (v. 4), the most important thing about heaven is that it’s the dwelling place of God “where righteousness dwells”(2 Peter 3:13). In this final vision of eternity in Revelation 21–22, Jesus declares, “It is done” (21:6). The New Living Translation renders it “It is finished!” echoing Christ’s victorious cry from the cross (John 19:30). Sin’s curse (Genesis 3:14–19) will be completely and eternally removed (Revelation 21:4–5). Christ gives freely the “water of life” (v. 6) first offered to Israel (Isaiah 55:1), then to the Samaritan woman (John 4:10), and to anyone who thirsts (7:37).