Finishing the book of Revelation is fascinating. The last two chapters are dedicated to the new heaven and the new earth. Trying to imagine what John was seeing and how he used imagery to understand his vision can be difficult.
He describes the size of the new Jerusalem. When you translate his measurements into feet and miles; the new Jerusalem is 1,500 miles tall, long and wide. It is a cube.
To put it into perspective, imagine a city that reaches from Los Angeles to Little Rock, Arkansas. Now the earth’s atmosphere is only about 62 miles deep (reaching from the ground to the edge of what we call outer space), but the new earth’s atmosphere is … I don’t have any idea. But if the city is 1,500 miles tall, the atmosphere is much deeper in the time to come. It is hard to visualize, at least for me.
The walls of the city are made of translucent gold so pure it almost looks like glass. There are 12 gates to get into the city. Each gate is molded out of pearl. Above the gate is the name of each one of Jacob’s sons, the tribes of Israel. Three gates are on each side of the wall, with four walls that equals 12 names or sons.
There are 12 foundations of the city. Each layer is embedded with precious stones: rubies, sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, and more. On each layer of the foundation is the name of an Apostle … you know, Peter, James, John, Andrew.
The River of Life river will flow through the center of the city; it is crystal clear. It originates from under the throne of God. There will never be any contamination in the water. We will drink freely from the River of Life.
Growing along each side of the river are trees, called the Tree of Life. According to Revelation, it has 12 cycles of fruit bearing, each month a different fruit. How great is that going to be?
The scripture also says that the leaves are for healing of the nations. What does that mean? I don’t know, but it sounds good to me … wish we had some of those leaves right now to pass around the world.
Psalms 48:1-2 says, ”Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” Here it is talking about heaven, when it refers to the “sides of the north” that is a reference to heaven.
The psalmist sings the song about that heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the great King. And who is our King? Jesus, of course. From Genesis to the book of Revelation the single thread that runs through it is JESUS. The Father reveals Him and endorses His ministry, the Holy Spirit confirms and expands His ministry. What a wonderful God that we serve that He should reveal Himself to us in so many, many ways. Just as He knows you, He wants you to know Him.