Read - Revelation 22:1-6
Message - Alan Burke
We have moved from the Garden of Eden to the Garden of Gethsemane and today we move to the Garden City. For it is in and through what Jesus Christ has done for us that we might know the Hope of the Garden City. Remember how when Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden and a flaming sword flashed back and forth to guard the was to the tree of life. It barred their way and our way to the tree of life. Man could not return to what was lost, but the beautiful climax of the word of God directs us to a glorious picture of what will be in heaven.
One bookend of the bible tells us what we have lost because of sin, while the other bookend of the bible tells us what we receive through the redemption that has been bought by Christ Jesus. This is what as Romans 8 reminds us creation has been groaning for, waiting for the redemption of the sons of man (Rom 8:22). Jesus was the one who bore the wrath of God who faced the flaming swords that bard our way to the tree of life and in Revelation 22 we are given this glorious picture of the Tree of life of when this earthly toil is over, when Christ has made all things new the redeemed people of God will find eternal rest and refreshment with Him.
This word picture in Revelation 22 gives us a glimpse of what we will inhabit and that has been accomplished by the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. A return to a paradise as that of Eden. Although the first Eden is no more the Eden the splendour and beauty that we look to is here where, the river of the water of life is there, the tree of life, once more we will have access to the Tree of life. What is more is that this tree of life, that is leaves are for the healing of the nations. Here there is a great reversal of sins curse and the consequences that came in Genesis. Not only that, there will also be a renewed intimacy with God for the throne of God and the Lamb speaking of Jesus Christ will be in the City. God’s people will see His face, His name will be on their foreheads and God shall be their light.
What was lost by the first Adam we so clearly experience each day, sin effects us all, it impacts every decision, every relationship, it impacts our bodies that age and which to the dust they will return. But what is revealed to us in Revelation 22 is a reminder what is ours through faith in the second Adam, the one who unlike the first obeyed the will of the Father, who redid us by His blood and has sealed us by the Spirit. God has come to deal with what has happened, not to try and cover it up as Adam and Eve were trying to do. What we have in the gospel is how God incarnate, Immanuel comes with the offer of sins forgiven, of Hope of that paradise that was lost, restored.
Adam brought sin and death into the world, but Christ has reversed the consequences of Adam’s sin and has given His own life and righteousness to secure their eternal glory. He did what the first Adam did not, Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience, He has won bruised the head of the serpent, satan is now a defeated foe and we wait for that wonderful day that we will dwell with out God though faith in the Garden City, where God will live with His people, the dwelling place of God will be with man and there will be no more sin and shame. Knowing that the Christmas story began in the Garden of Eden and ends in the Garden City via the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb reminds us that God keeps His promises. The Christmas hope was announced in the Garden, of He who would come, Jesus Christ, who has come, He is Our Christmas Hope. Merry Christmas!
Q25 How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, (Heb. 9:14,28) and reconcile us to God; (Heb. 2:17) and in making continual intercession for us. (Heb. 7:24–25)
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