Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I 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, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live 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 or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:1-4.
My daughter decided that she wanted to dress up as a “beautiful bride’ for Halloween this year. She was dressed in a white gown and held a bouquet of plastic flowers in one hand and a plastic bucket in the other (in order to collect her candy), I won’t soon forget the joy on her face as she twirled around to show me her costume and then how she hurried out the door to visit the neighbors.
It seems that it is just about every little girl’s dream to wear such a gown for real, to walk down the aisle, and experience the joy of a wedding. Within the last six months two young women from our congregation have already experienced the joy of dressing in a beautiful gown and walking down the aisle on their wedding day; and one more is waiting with eager anticipation for her chance which is just a few days away. There is nothing quite like that special day.
It is no surprise then that our Lord uses the same picture of the joy of heaven. What might come as a surprise is that he uses such imagery in conjunction with the Day of Judgment. Often when we think of that day the picture in our mind is primarily of the destruction and the devastation that will come. Our God, however, is quick to show us that for the believer this will be a day of unparalleled joy. The joy that this day brings will push out of our minds anything that would cause us sorrow, for God will dwell with his bride, the church, forever. All believers will dwell with God in perfection for all time, and this is all possible through Jesus Christ. He is the one that makes us properly prepared for this glorious day. The Holy Spirit has given us faith in Christ Jesus, and this prepares for this special day. Christ’s death cleanses us from sin. His righteousness covers us, it is that white robe, that dazzling white gown that covers us. We are ready to meet our God.
Jesus could come at any time to judge the living and the dead. As believers, this reality does not frighten us, but it fills us with unparalleled joy. There will be nothing quite like that special day. Therefore as God’s people made pure and blameless by the blood of the Lamb Christ Jesus we are led by God’s grace to say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. – Revelation 22:20b-21