Revelation 21:10
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

In an earlier chapter of Revelation, we learned about the evil, harlot city of Babylon. In sharp contrast, now we learn about the holy, pure city of New Jerusalem. We also learnt that in Revelation “Babylon” represents the idolatrous politico-religious system. From the unmistakable pointers in Rev 21, we shall recognise the identity of this New Jerusalem.

Firstly, this great City is introduced as the Bride of Christ, the wife of the Lamb (v9). We know for certain that denotes the Church (see Eph. 5:27-29). In fact, Jesus first calls us the light of the world and a City on a hill, long before the Revelation was ever penned (Mat 5:14). This agrees well with our text’s reference to the brilliance of the City that shines with the glory of God and the light of the Lamb (vv11, 23-24).

Furthermore, the City has twelve gates on which the names of the 12 tribes of Israel are written (v12). The City is also built on a multicoloured foundation of precious stones on which are inscribed the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb (v14). The two sets of twelves speak of the continuity of the Church, from the Old into the New Covenant eras. Through the Cross, Christ forged us into One New Man (Eph. 2:15). OT and NT saints become one community of faith. Hallelujah!

Let us bless the name of the Lord for His perfect plan of salvation that is so consummated in the eschaton. What a living hope! Whatever we go through in the meantime, we know our ultimate triumph and bliss.

Pastor Josh