Today’s reading is Revelation 21.
I know we’ve talked about the Bride before, but now we meet her again in all her glory. At the beginning of Revelation, we were introduced to her in the image of the seven churches. At that time, they were struggling with faithfulness and loyalty to the Hero. But now, just as one of the seven angels with the seven bowls of God’s wrath introduced us to the seductress (Revelation 17:1), one of those same angels shows the Bride. The seductress was out in the wilderness, the Bride is at the top of a mountain. The seductress was pictured as a woman on the back of dragon, though she was called the city Babylon. The Bride is pictured as a city. And what a city. Perfectly square, with insurmountable walls, unassailable gates, unbreakable foundation. It is full of the glory of God. The Lamb is it light. God Himself is its Temple. While I don’t want to take away the beautiful picture of eternity most of us jump to when we see this picture, we need to understand that John’s point was not simply that in the end we go to heaven. His point was this is the bride of Christ; this is the kingdom of Christ; this is the church of Christ. Yes, the enemies gather around our city. Yes, they besiege our city. Yes, they mount their attack against our city. But our city is unassailable. The question is not who will win this war. The question is to which city will you flee for refuge: Babylon or the Heavenly Jerusalem? When you see how the story ends, the choice is obvious.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, I hope you have picked up on the great contrast John is providing here at the end of Revelation. We saw the seductress a few chapters earlier. Now we see the Bride. One was wicked and immoral. The other is pure and holy. One was full of darkness. The other is full of light. One offers momentary pleasure and delight. The other offers enduring life and victory. And they are caught in a life and death struggle. The seductress will do anything she can to topple the Bride from her place of loyalty and faithfulness to Christ. Do you remember all the way at the beginning of the book the presence of Jezebel within one of the churches? (see Revelation 2:18-28). That was a picture of this battle between the seductress and the Bride. As we come to the end of the story, though there have been ups and downs, though there were moments when it seemed all was lost for the Hero and His Bride, we now see the Bride in her fine array. We see her in her victorious garments. We see that not only does Jesus always win, His Bride always wins. In case you have missed it, the Bride of Jesus is really the church. Whatever you do, hang on to Jesus and stick with His church, we always win!