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  • "Heavenly Jerusalem", , partial view of the "Tapisserie de l'Apocalypse du Château d'Angers, France" | Photo: Wikimedia Commons by Octave 444
Teachings

Reflection Revelation 21:5 (3 of 3)

Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer - 6 February 2024

“He 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.””

Here the Lord Himself speaks in the Book of Revelation. “He who was seated on the throne…”. Now no mediation anymore through angels or elderly or living creatures. Thus the Lord leaves His mark on this Book. “I am making everything new!…” I, the eternal God Who spoke through His Word in Israel and made Himself known throughout the world. I, Who created heaven and earth through My Word. I, Who in the incarnation of the Word made Myself known to you. I will do this.

“I, Who in the incarnation of the Word made Myself known to you. I will do this”

What a wonderful , comforting meaning this Word must have had for the congregations for centuries. In the Roman era, with all its persecutions. In all centuries after that, when Rome persecuted Christians and Jews again. In the oppression under Islam, continuing until the present day. In China and in Russia. In Sudan and in South America. “Write”, the glorified Christ had said.

Everything will be new, heaven and earth. This renewal already starts in God’s children. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

But the Second Coming of Christ, His day, must come first, before this renewed creation finally will break through and everything will be  new. First in the foreshadowing, so only partial, in the ruling of Christ on earth, says Isaiah 2:2-4. The prophetic return of the Jewish people to the Promised land of Israel in our days has everything to do with this. After that: complete redemption in a new heaven and a (re)new(ed) earth. Ultimately creation itself will be redeemed also.

“However dark it may still be: ultimately the new age will break through!”

Atonement and redemption in the Biblical sense of the word is not just the saving of human souls. It will also include the redemption of the mortal body. It is not about, as in Greek thinking, that the soul of the body is redeemed, and as redeemed spirit/soul to be with the gods forever, but that the body itself is redeemed from everything that has entered the body through sin. Mortality, hereditary defects, weakness and helplessness. Perfect, when God will be all in all. That is consolation, also for us, also with a view at the future that is still ahead of us. And however dark it may still be: ultimately the new age will break through!

An old hymn(*) from the songbook of the (Dutch) Johannes de Heer [JdH 477] says:

“Through the night of pain and troubles the pilgrim’s procession trudges on, singing songs of morning, now the new light shines again. God Himself has gone in front, He enlightens, redeems His people, paves the way, that we may tread, and dispels the dark cloud. One day the great awakening will come, once the victory over death. Then God will end all misery and distress.”

(*)Originally from the Danish hymn: “Igennem nat og traengsel” by Bernhard Severin Ingemann.

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