The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
Some people spend incredible amounts of money to be able to call one of the world’s largest and most bustling cities home. Big city living attracts people for all kinds of reasons. If you have walked through Times Square at Christmas when the sun has set and the lights are on, it can be an awe-inspiring sight. I recall recently walking through the tech district of Beijing one evening and experiencing something similar. Each building had its own distinct architecture, and every nook and cranny was lit up by some light of a different color. The streets were clean and safe, lined with the nicest boutiques, restaurants galore and fashionable people making their way through town. Although it was quite the sight to behold, it cannot compare to the great city that we one day will call home.
Many of us will live our lives in this system of things in places that greatly pale in comparison to these big cities and that definitely cannot compare to the New Jerusalem that God will cause to descend on that day. When we read its description in Revelation, what we read is a promise of perfection to come. God knows what we are experiencing in this world and what we have yet to endure. Even for those of us who may have much nicer things in life, they will be shown to be nothing one day. They will be gone. He knows of all the seemingly great things that could get our attention and cause us to chase after them, and He combats those images by showing us what we can gain if we instead chase after him. He asks us why we would choose otherwise when He has perfection waiting for us.
No one on this Earth will live a perfect life no matter how charmed it seems. There is no perfect palace to call home. There is no perfect neighborhood or school district. There is no perfect family. Even the shiniest lives out there come with their heartache and baggage and tragedy. No building will stand the test of time throughout the ages. No man-made city will remain forever. However, the darkness and the grime of this world and this life become much more tolerable and manageable when we consider what lies ahead for us in the future. If we just hold on a short while longer, we will get there and be able to call New Jerusalem home. Father, thank You that You have prepared a place for us that is perfect and lacking nothing, and that we can rely on this promise.