Over the last several years my heart and imagination have been captured by the sights, the idea of the New Jerusalem as described in the Bible, the place that God will make his dwelling place with his people on the new earth. Humans have—since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, had a longing to be where we’re no longer “alien” or don’t fit in, but a place to look forward to that goes beyond simply dying so one can be with loved ones. There’s more--living in the beautiful New Jerusalem that will come to the earth--the place of no more crying, no death, no pain. A place where God will dwell with us. This glorious place Jesus has prepared for us will be a long while yet in coming but we have his promise.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4
On the day I understood that when Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you,” he spoke of his special place--the New Jerusalem, I felt so loved. This is the glorious place he’s been preparing for his followers.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4
Most people—in the Western world anyway, have an idea of Jesus being born; even other religions acknowledge his virgin birth. Most have some sense of Jesus having died on a cross; they may even know of his resurrection from the dead to save those who believe in him. However, people often don’t know what we’re saved to--our destination.
What will it look like? People have speculated but we really have a pretty good idea written for us in the Bible books of Revelation and Isaiah, Ezekiel. I’ve been writing about it for a while, researching and have made a couple of paintings; now I’m beginning a body of work for a solo exhibit. I want to share a glimpse of this glorious place. I won’t be illustrating but exploring what it will look like since I’m a visual artist and most of what is described in Revelation and the Old Testament prophets is visual. I’ll be painting in mixed media on square canvases since the New Jerusalem is square. There won’t be a particular chronology to the paintings or posts since I’ll be painting as ideas and inspiration come to me for each aspect.
I hope to go beyond bringing viewers food for thought—I want to offer a “ holy encounter,” as I am experiencing while I create the exhibit. Along the way I’ll share my progress and insights here on my blog, both artistically and spiritually, as I paint and write about the glorious New Jerusalem—the future hope of all who follow Jesus.