James Oglethorpe (1696–1785) was a British general and member of Parliament who had a vision for a great city. Charged with settling the state of Georgia in North America, he planned the city of Savannah according to that vision. He designed a series of squares, each having a green space and designated areas for churches and shops, with the rest reserved for housing. The visionary thinking of Oglethorpe is seen today in a beautiful, well-organized city that is considered a jewel of the American South.
In Revelation 21, John received a vision of a different city—the New Jerusalem. What he said of this city was less about its design and more about the character of who was there. When John described our eternal home, he wrote, “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’” (v. 3). And because of who was there—God Himself—this dwelling place would be notable for what was not there. Quoting from Isaiah 25:8, John wrote, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” (v. 4).
No more death! Nor will there be any more “mourning or crying or pain.” All our sorrow will be replaced by the wonderful, healing presence of the God of the universe. This is the home Jesus is preparing for all who turn to Him for forgiveness.
Thank You, Father, that Your Son is preparing a place for us to live with You. Thank You that it will be more than just a wonderful place. It is where we will live with You and know You forever.
While You prepare a place for us, Lord, prepare us for that place.
As the Godhead is clearly seen at the creation (Gen. 1:1–2; John 1:1–5), the triune God is likewise present in the re-creation of all things. All members of the Trinity appear in this re-creation text (Rev. 21). In verse 4, God Himself wipes away our tears. In verse 9, Christ the Lamb is pictured. In verse 10, John is carried away by the Spirit.