Jesus’ Radiance – II
Revelation 21:22, 23; 22:5
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
It is hard to even imagine what Revelation 21:22, 23; and Revelation 22:5 are telling us:
And I [the apostle John] saw no temple in it [the New Jer- usalem], for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb [the Lord Jesus] are its temple. And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illumi- nated it, and the Lamb is its light....And there shall be no night there: They shall need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever....These words are faithful and true.
What a radical departure this will be from what we now experience! It reminds me of what Paul wrote in I Corinthians 2:9: “As it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the mind of man the things which God has prepared for those who love HIm.‘”
- We have never seen it!
- We have never heard about anything like it!
- We have never even had the capacity to imagine what the Lord Jesus has prepared for us who are born again into the Father’s kingdom! (see John 3:3, 7; I Peter 1:23).
It also reminds me of another applicable verse that Paul wrote, Romans 8:18: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”
I received a call today from Bruce, a Pennsylvania friend. About four years ago I conducted the funeral of his and his sister’s mother. She suffered terribly for months from mistreatment of doctors and hospital staff! The two siblings have had trouble getting over their mother’s torturous death! I shared with Bruce Romans 8:18, and told him:
“According to this one verse, no matter what we have been through in this life, when we get to heaven, and share the glorious and eternal bodies our Lord has planned for us – like His, we will look back upon all our earthly troubles and say, ‘Aww, it was nothing! Look what I have now – and it’s forever!’”
And I said, “I can picture your mom dancing on the mountaintops, with energy and vitality she never experienced down here!”
Bruce then replied, “I should put that verse up where I can see it every day! I gotta tell my sister about this!”
But back to our theme of the eternal light in the golden city of New Jerusalem! In the last Gem we looked at Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain!
- To me, the most outstanding feature concerning our Lord was that “…His face shown like the sun…” (Matthew 17:2).
- This is but a preview of what it will be like in “…the holy city, New Jerusalem…” (Revelation 21:2). Jesus will shine so brightly that we will have “…no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light…” (Revelation 21:23).
But, as God told Moses in Exodus 33:20, “You cannot see My face; for no man [no mortal man] shall see Me, and live.” His full glory would just overpower our mortality!
- However, as it says in I John 3:3, “…we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
- Paul wrote in Philippians 3:20 and 21:
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
- When we are transformed to be conformed to His glorious body…
✞ ...we will be able to comfortably behold our Savior in all His glory! And not only will we behold Jesus... ✞ ...we will also be able to look upon the glory of the Father and the Holy Spirit...
…the triune God!
✞ ...we’ll behold all the glorious angels! ✞ ...we will be at comfortable ease with one another in our eternal glorious state!
Consider this: the New Jerusalem will be in the shape of a cube, for it says in Revelation 21:16 (Contemporary English Version), “The city was shaped like a cube, because it was just as high as it was wide. When the angel measured the city, it was about fifteen hundred miles high and fifteen hundred miles wide.”
At a Bible study several years ago, we postulated the number of believers from Old and New Testament times who would be in heaven, residing in the New Jerusalem. Considering Old and New Testament saints, and a human existence of several thousands of years (deduced by a Biblical timeline), there could be billions of people living in this golden city! Steve, one of the Bible studies attendees, remarked, “Won’t we be too crowded if there are that many people in residence?” Then I presented some mathematical considerations and other postulations:
- A cube with 1,500 miles on each side would mean it contained 3,375,000,000 (three billion, 375 million) cubic miles!
✞ The Bible does not say a lot about the interior of this huge cubic area. ➔ It seems logical that the golden city would be in the middle of the cube! ➔ It could also be there are many inhabitable layers surrounding that city in all direc- tions! ✞ Jesus, in His resurrected body, was no longer confined to the limitations of the mortal human beings! ➔ He could enter rooms that were locked up tight! (see John 20:19, 26). ➔ He could hide His identity and disappear at will! (see Luke 24:16, 31). ➔ Gravity seemed to have no hold on Him, for “...while they [His disciples] watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:9). ✞ Could not we, in our glorious resurrected bodies, comfortably occupy any plane of the New Jerusalem – bottom, top and all sides?
At the end of the discussion, Steve said, “Gee, I hope we don’t get lonely there with all that space!”
Considering all that space, that is a lot of area to illuminate! But Jesus is “…the light of the world…” (John 8:12; 9:5)…..and not just in a spiritual sense!
- When “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” (Genesis 1:1), Jesus was vitally involved! For it says in…
✞ ...John 1:1 and 3 – “...the Word [Jesus – see John 1:14] was with God, and the Word was God....All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” ✞ ...Colossians 1:16 – “For by Him [Jesus] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created \ through Him and for Him.” ✞ ...Hebrews 1:2 – It says of Jesus, the Father “...ap- pointed [Him] heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”
- So when God said, “‘Let there be light’ and there was light…” (Genesis 1:3), Jesus, being the Word of God (see Revelation 19:13), light appeared when the Son of God spoke it into being!
✡ By the way, according the Genesis 1 account, light appeared on the first day of creation, and the sun was not created until the forth day! ➔ What was the source of that first-day light? ➔ It was the Son of God, Jesus! ✡ So what gave light to the world in that first day of creation? ➔ The Word of God... ➔ The light of the world... ➔ Jesus Christ!
If He could speak light into existence in the beginning, if “…His face shown like the sun…” (Matthew 17:2), on the Mount of Transfiguration, surely He can light the entire golden city of New Jerusalem!
For Jesus is “…the light of life…”!