“The land of the living”
In the 21st chapter of the book of Revelation John was shown what heaven would be like practically as well as physically. But because heaven is eternal and we dwell in a temporal place John described heaven from what it was not going to be or have. It will be a place absent of sorrow, pain and grief. It will be a place where no type of sin will ever find a thought to roost in, a place where there will never be a separation between what is sacred and that which is secular. A place where we will continually dwell in God’s unapproachable light and now darkness will be.
In the 22nd chapter John sees that heaven will be a place full of life instead of a place where dead people go. In Matthew 22:31-32 Jesus handled a question by those who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead by saying, “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” I’m convinced that in heaven we will realize how much everything is more alive and that our earthly experience was very much the place of death. The first two verse of this chapter further illustrate this as we are told that there are two things present that depict life:
Vs. 1 “a pure river of water of life”: My mind races back to Jesus’ words in John 7:38-39 where He said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John adds his commentary about the meaning of Jesus’ words saying, “This He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” Living water is tied too the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. When we consider this we realize that the Holy Spirit renews us, sets us free, strengthens us, leads us into a holy life and brings forth fruit of a Christ like character. I believe that in heaven that a drink from the “river of life” will give us more of Him.
Vs. 2 “was the tree of life”: The word for tree here is one often associated with the cross. There is an aspect of Jesus character that we can see no other way then from the view of the cross. The cross is our “tree of life” for with out Jesus’ death upon that tree we whom He gave His life for would have no life! There is a never-ending supply of fruit from this tree and again I think of what Jesus’ work has produced in our lives as the fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians five Paul says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Perhaps this tree of life will enhance these aspects of the life in the Spirit? Even the leaves have a therapeutic aspect, as they are health giving, producing further enjoyment among God’s people. In Proverbs 13:12 we are told “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Our only desire in heaven will be for the Lord and as such we will be constantly fed on the fruit of His presence.
This has been Pastor Dale, Blessings!