As the first immigrant to the US to pass through Ellis Island in 1892, Annie Moore must have felt incredible excitement at the thought of a new home and a fresh start. Millions would pass through there afterward. Just a teenager, Annie had left behind a difficult life in Ireland to start a new one. Carrying only a little bag in her hand, she came with lots of dreams, hopes, and expectations of a land of opportunity.
How much more excitement and awe will God’s children experience when we see “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1). We will enter what the book of Revelation calls “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem” (v. 2). The apostle John describes this amazing place with powerful imagery. There will be “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (22:1). Water represents life and abundance, and its source will be the eternal God Himself. John says that “no longer will there be any curse” (v. 3). The beautiful, pure relationship God intended between Himself and humans will be fully restored.
How incredible to know that God, who loves His children and purchased us with the life of His Son, is preparing such an amazing new home—where He Himself will live with us and be our God (21:3).
What comes to mind when you think about heaven? How does this passage from Revelation encourage you?
The book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of what the future will be like when we exist together with God in eternity. Chapters 21–22 list a variety of “new” things we’ll experience in the new heaven and new earth. In today’s passage, we see the existence of two trees of life—or one tree that spans both sides of the river (22:2). Access to the tree of life was lost when Adam and Eve were banished from the garden (see Genesis 3:24). In the new heaven, its fruit, seemingly meant to be consumed, will always be available. The tree of life underscores the idea that life in the kingdom is ongoing.