Wednesday, May 24, 2006

God Who Rebuilds

At the end of the book of Revelation -- a text full of metaphor -- we read about perhaps the most understandable and meaningful metaphor of the book.

In verses 21:9-14 we find out that Yeshua's followers (collectively his "bride" and "wife") are metaphorically Jerusalem. The metaphor shows how God sees the things: when everything is made new, people replace city.

Throughout scripture, people were categorized by lineage. Now their lineage is irrelevant. Their unity is the apostles' teaching (In verse 14 are foundations of the city wall; walls were the seen as the strength and definition of a city).

Throughout scripture, people were beautiful in their own righteousness. Now everyone is completely rightous. Their beauty is the (Jewish) context of the apostles' teaching that makes it understandable as good news about God, the Kingdom of God, the messiah, sin, repentance, and victory. (In verse 12 are gates; gates were seen as the pride and beauty of a city).

The metaphor is so powerful because throughout scripture are numerous prophecies about God rebuilding Jerusalem. And those prophecies will literally come true (verse 20:4 in Revelation). But prophecy is often fulfilled more than once, and people are more important to God than any city, even his beloved Jerusalem. The God who longs so much to restore Jerusalem longs even more to restore people.